Welcome to today’s edition of my thoughts! This post is inspired by the realization that I have transformed certain ways of being over the past 3.5 years as a result of simply shifting my vocabulary, mindset and approach to life with regards to these particular words. Three and a half years ago, as per the suggestion of one of my mentors, I decided to banish the words “stress”, “overwhelm”, and “exhaustion” from my vocabulary. I more so replaced these words with a phrase or term that best supports me as I do still experience these feelings on a similar level, I simply do not let them impact me in a negative way as they once did.
Living these three words is harming! Not even potentially harming. Think about it: do you want to be that person or be in the company of that person who is always talking about “being stressed out”, and who is “so overwhelmed”, and who is “totally exhausted?”. Yeah, I don’t either.
Let us begin with the word “stress”. The word itself bears great weight and foreshadowing. As in, there is a bubble of stress and I am in the bubble. Not my bubble! How does one find themselves in the stress bubble? There are some people who create stressful situations for themselves because they fail to plan or think and simply act without performing the former. In my experience stress also occurs from a place of disorganization. When “stress” doesn’t fall into failing to plan, think or organize and in fact does appear out of thin air in the form of an unpredictable life event (a possible illness not preventable with regular healthy living) “stress” becomes weight on the mind and a vibrational experience in body – that causes a negative ripple effect due to embodiment. You see the unwanted trap. I am a big believer that we create our experience based on our thoughts and that our thoughts largely impact our body chemistry. A book I suggest on the topic is “The Mind Body Code” by Dr. Mario Martinez. I was fortunate to hear him speak in New York City in 2015. This book and concept is based on bio-cognition.
In summary around the word stress, choose what takes your energy (more like you choose where to give & spend your energy) and do your best to plan and mitigate unwanted and unforeseen energy depleting experiences and tasks. Organize your life and live in a state of preparation and proactivity vs reaction. Instead of thinking about “all of the things” that are stacking up in your life and experience, think about stretching your plate and managing that plate. Visualize spreading a deck of cards out one by one on your dining room table. There’s room for every card when you can see what’s in front of you to manage and the great news, you can let go of control and make hand-offs! In my experience, applying this concept makes everything more manageable and far less heavy. Becoming one with stress sinks the ship. Managing a full plate of life keeps the ship afloat. Also, expect the best! I see far too many people create unnecessary “stress” because they insist on forecasting ridiculous outcomes that have yet to and likely never will materialize! You get what you expect, also.
Let us shift to the word “overwhelm”. When someone states that they are overwhelmed this signals to me that the ability to think has left them. They’re full, at capacity, no more room, cannot manage more. The mentor that evoked my thought around these 3 particular words also said that what overwhelm signals to her is that you can’t trust someone who is “overwhelmed”. I agree. There’s a lack of overall management and of managing the mind. And – although this might be true in experience (a lack of managing the mind or a lack of managing your experience) the point is to not let it get to that point and to shift, and to switch out the word. If I ever MUST use a comparable term I use this phrase infrequently: “I’m near my limit”. I still have room, I’m still able to manage, I am not overwhelmed. See the difference? When I hear the word overwhelm I envision someone drowning under water. It’s not an experience I wish for myself nor you! Think about it. Punchline: overwhelm removes trust, it’s the equivalent to drowning aka a downhill decline. Keep your head above water and learn to develop a new experience around MORE when you find yourself up to your eyelids in whatever it is. Having a full plate that you’re able to manage is a BLESSING.
Next up, let’s explore the word “exhaustion”. Unless you have a critical illness, terminal illness or a medical condition that tires you quickly (less than strong heart, immunosuppression, etc.) I strongly believe exhaustion is a choice and can be managed. When you tell me you are “becoming exhausted” my mind jumps to two places: health and time management. When you are in good health you have more energy. When you have more energy you experience “tiredness” less. When you are skilled at time management, organization, and task allocation you aren’t “pressed for time” and you have the ability to control and manage what happens for you during your time. It is also completely possible to EXPAND time, also. I live in a state of expanding time when I need to. This post isn’t about time, however. Back to exhaustion. Choose to live life at a pace that suits you. Shape your schedule to support you and don’t be afraid to ask for support when you need it! Relieve the plate of some of its tasks, reallocate the energy spend, let someone show up for you because people actually LIKE doing that! It is also completely okay to say no, especially to that which doesn’t serve you yet still somehow manages to eat up your time and energy – if you know what I mean. Choose to allocate time and energy to that which fuels your soul and to that which nourishes you in the best way. That which is perhaps less pleasant yet still needs to be completed – manage those tasks as positively as possible (see the opportunity and the light) and re-allocate, outsource and ask for support where able.
My point in sharing the above with you is with the hope that you choose to care for your well-being in all ways including the words you allow as part of your world. Words truly carry vibrational weight and have material impact on your physical health, mental & emotional health, spiritual health and your results, including in your work and in your relationships. Choose wisely mes amis! We are blessed with but one, beautiful life.