Winner, #gtchat and my thoughts on STRESS….

Happy Saturday all! I’m starting today’s random post with the winner of the comment contest for an ARC of THE LIAR SOCIETY by Lisa and Laura Roecker….

GRACE RADFORD

Congrats to Grace!!!

Now, my #gtchat inspire post today. Yesterday was #gtchat and I was actually able to hang out and participate a bit in the 7pm (EST) chat. The topic – dealing with stress.

WHOA! Such an appropriate topic for me. I had previously spent the day figuring out how I was going to get 4 mos worth of work completed in less than two, as well as processing some disappointing news sandwich between layers of exciting news (truly typical in my life). Both resulted in tight muscles and an upset stomach that usually signals major stress in my body. So, hearing others talk about stress and how to handle it was a very cathartic –

and it got me thinking.

Our kids get stress out a lot in today’s world. Just watch things like the recent documentary A RACE TO NOWHERE, and you can see how much we have layered onto our children. Somehow in the mix to become everything (live to our potential) we lost sight of balance and remembering to cultivate moments of silence and peace into our worlds.

The result = stressed out kids and stressed out parents.

So what do we do? I think the first thing is remembering that stress, in and of itself, is not a BAD thing. Stress is simply a physical and emotional response to a given situation. It is sort of like the body’s warning system that something is amiss. At its extreme, our stress response creates the ability for us to fight or flee a situation.

Not bad things.

But, we live such hurried and complex lives these days, that we force ourselves into a stress response that never lets up. This creates all sorts of negative things – the inability to digest food properly, lack of sleep, and the inability to think and plan correctly, amongst them.

Take a look at that last one again – the inability to think and plan. That is the biggie! When you are stressed out enough to slam into a fight or flight response, you can’t think. At all. No wonder we don’t think to chillax or remove somethings from our lives or even breathe. We can’t – our stress has progressed too far.

The trick is catching things BEFORE it gets to this point. Shift priorities and remember there is value in stillness, in silence. Add these as essential parts of taking care of you – teach your children to do the same.

Over the past few weeks I have had to scale back a lot of things. In fact, the last 14 months have really been in lesson in understanding my stress response and reframing my life to not only deal with stress more effectively, but reduce it entirely.

The biggest thing I’ve learned as I am beginning to regroup and renew…

I am enough without the “stuff” I do. Too often, I think, we define ourselves by what we accomplish, instead of by who we are. Yes, our actions are important. But I think we need to accept ourselves absent of that. And we need to teach our kids the same.

Okay, so let me make a little sense out of my ramblings this am:

  • stress in and out itself isn’t good or bad – it is simply the body’s way of alerting us to a problem
  • Cultivating periods of silence and stillness are vital to managing stress and life
  • Self-acceptance – for us and our children – is the greatest gift you can give yourself

Okay, I think that’s enough for a beautiful Saturday morning.

What do you guys think about stress, life, etc? Have any of you seen A Race to Nowhere?

4 thoughts on “Winner, #gtchat and my thoughts on STRESS….

  1. Nisa

    Totally agree. Those moments of stillness are so essential. In a generation of kids who have the opportunity/desire to be “plugged in” all the time (as my mom calls it), little time is given to silence and meditation and it’s so important! As is self-acceptance – this one’s hard for me. :S

  2. Thanks for addressing the issue of stress – it may be that a number of positive qualities of high ability can also lead to vulnerability to stress. In her article “Perfectionism…”, Linda Silverman explains that “perfectionism indiscriminately mingles idealism, introversion, preoccupation with one’s flaws, fear of not being able to live up to others’ expectations, and making unfair demands of others. This strange amalgam has been implicated in stress-related ailments, anxiety, depression…”
    From my post High Ability, High Sensitivity, High Anxiety
    http://talentdevelop.com/3594/high-ability-high-sensitivity-high-anxiety/

    Also see my Facebook page High Ability
    http://www.facebook.com/HighAbility

    There is also a Facebook page for Race to Nowhere, The Dark Side of America’s Achievement Culture:
    http://www.facebook.com/RaceToNowhere

  3. Well then … in an attempt to add to your happier news … I could no longer wait to buy your new book!!! I am the proud owner of a niffty little invoice from Prufrock Press. No more worries here when it sells out upon its official release.
    Now you don’t have to be stressed anymore. Case closed.

  4. I’ve never seen A Race to Nowhere, but I definitely agree that we put far too much stress on our kids – and ourselves. I’ve noticed that my stress level has gone way up this year, as I look forward to my novel debuting in December. What really helps me is to create a written schedule each day so I know the things that are most important WILL get done – and then I let some of the smaller stuff slide.

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