I hope that you all have been sleeping well. If you have not then today's blog may be of particular interest to you. It s the things that keep us awake at night and how they affect our spirit. For some of us it also invades our waking time. In addition, unfortunately many people are consumed by it. Does the title of today’s post give you an idea of what we will discuss? Right, stress, fear and worry and how you can release these emotions with your change your point of view.
You may be asking yourself what does stress, fear and worry have to do with sleep. For those of you who never have a problem, falling asleep and always wake up refreshed, hats off to you. However, for the majority of people when they are stressed out or are worried or fearful about something, sleep or concentration becomes almost impossible.
Just the other night, as I lay on the couch watching some mindless program, my husband at that time motioned me toward bed, I smiled, put the dogs in their beds, closed all the lights, and followed him into our bedroom, yawning. My body was signaling me that it needed rest. However, as soon as my head hit the pillow, my mind raced faster. As I tried to calm my mind, it somehow got away from me and the stresses and frustrations of my day job, consumed me. Tell me, have you ever had that happen to you?
Many people come to me have this issue, due not only stress, but also fear and worrisome situations that are keeping them up at night. I am continually amazed at what some people consider stressful or worrisome and others do not. For example, I was talking to a new friend last evening that is moving about 600 miles north of Phoenix, to Utah. His belongings are few; he has secured a job in his new home state, and has a place to stay for at least a few nights with a friend. In speaking to him, I could see the stress, worry and fear that enveloped him. So he does not have to pack up a home, has no children or million dollar project deadlines to handle on top of just getting himself into his vehicle and driving to his new home state. It just did not add up to me the amount of stress, fear and worry he was experiencing. Then I was reminded that we are the sum total of our life experiences and perhaps my friend has not had many difficult situations in the past. Like the person who was laid off from a job where they have worked for 20 years and they are devastated, where folks who work as technology consultant, is so accustomed to having to find new work after the 3 to 6 month assignment was complete,so the fear of job loss is nonexistent.
For some people new situations is scary. I wish there was a magic pill that could harness and change all fear, stress and worry into positive excitement! There is something to be said about the old saying “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade?”
Change your point of view! When that happens, the world opens up!
You may be saying to yourself, “Sure, easier said than done.” Actually, it is easier than you think!
For those who are out of work right now due to this bad economy, find something positive allowing you to appreciate your situation. By shifting your point of view to something joyful (positive) in whatever negative situation you find yourself, you will release stress, worry, fear, and signal that you are ready for the “good stuff.” Not only will you sleep more soundly, you situation will change for the better.
A personal example I would like to share happened to me after 9/11/2001. Although I was not living in New York, the entire US economy was effected by the 9/11 tragedy. I was living large earlier that year and took my typical 3 months vacation from June through August knowing that I had secured a lucrative multi-year assignment beginning in the end of September. Oh yes, I had a grand time renting a 30ft sailboat and captain in Florida for private sailing lessons, and indulged in other extravagant items and activities. After 9/11, the start of my new assignment kept being postponed, until it was eventually cancelled. Finding work proved very difficult and because I was a technology consultant, there were no unemployment entitlements. Stress, fear and worry crept into my life at about the 6-month mark. I became a recluse, leaving the house only when I needed to get food. I used my credit cards for cash advances to keep my bills current.
By March 2002, I hardly ever slept through the night as I found my credit card bill increasing to $50,000. I put my house up for sale, which sold quickly and I was able to pay down my credit card debt to $35,000. I now, however, had no place to live, a house full of furniture and 2 small dogs. My younger sister, who lived 20 minutes away did not have much room, but offered me the floor in her daughter’s room, which I gladly accepted. I moved all my belongings into storage and off to sister’s house I went. The first week I was there, I was so depressed I could hardly move. I could not pace the floors in the house like I did at home, when sleep did not come, so I lay awake in my sleeping bag sobbing. The second week I brushed myself off by saying, “stop feeling sorry for yourself!. It is time to get back in the saddle,” and I returned to my daily morning job search routine. I added time to go outside enjoying nature and long walks. That helped with my sleeping but I stil found myself waking in the middle of the night. By the third week, I realized that I was enjoying spending time with my niece and nephew. I caught myself saying, “Wow, this is not so bad. I am enjoying spending time with the kids and the long walks.” This was the first joyful (positive) thought I had in months! I found myself sleeping so soundly, and I could feel the release of my stress and worries. Just like that, the next morning I received a call for an assignment and the following week, I moved out of my sisters and was back in my game. Shortly thereafter, I was able to rent an apartment and had started to steadily pay-off my credit cards.
I was sitting at Starbucks one morning, as that assignment was nearing its end, as I began my search for my next assignment. With total appreciation, I looked back on the last 8 months since I slept on the floor at my sisters and remarked how life can change on a dime when you find the positive in all situations. “If only I could get an assignment that would pay me a boatload of money in a short period of time,” I said to myself. As I smiled, I felt a delicious tingling in my core that started in the middle of body and rushed outward to my hands feet and head, before ceasing. Two weeks to the day later, I received a call from an old client offering me a boatload of money to come work with them for 16 weeks. In that 16-week period, I was able to pay off my credit cards and have 6 months reserves in my bank account. Amazing!
Remember, that 90% fear or worry means that there is only 10% left for accomplishment and joy. If you can find something joyful (positive) in every situation, the possibilities are endless.
I look forward to your feedback on how you all have discovered the joy in your negative situations to release your stress, fears and worries.
Have a glorious rest of your day! – Lee