Monday, September 19, 2016

The Always Never Trap

Stress can be good or bad. Eustress is the fancy dress up name for positive stress. Getting a promotion, planning a vacation, versus negative stress which we all know about and occasionally shake our fists and frown at.
Stress adds up. Emotional stress is subtle. It can be corrosive. You are juggling a million things and then someone says something or does something that hits you wrong. You have a day or week where things seem to slip rather than fit.
You find yourself in the all or nothing trap unaware that you've hit the spiky bottom.
Hurting yourself through internal overly critical black and white assessments that inaccurately represent you or how those around you perceive you.
Emotions in the way of neutral accurate perception. Everything is wonderful becomes everything is terrible and why am I alive? I can do anything becomes I am a total failure. Stop. Stop right there.
You are wrong about something. You are not a total failure. You can choose to step back, let go of the pain and self defeating internal dialogue. Reach out and communicate. Get reality checks from healthy supports. Take a walk. Work on a pet project. Do something for someone else. I think of the over 60p.people who participated in the 5K Zombie Run for a local children's charity in Muskogee. Laughing, dressing up as zombies and in fun rainbow ridiculous running tutus and seizing life as they dodged the zombies and helped a charity. Nobody there was always or never, all or nothing. I listened to runners cheer each other on, watched groups encourage and support each other as they aimed to try to 'survive to the finish line.'

Find something that gets you laughing and takes you out of your internal self trap. Put things back in perspective.
Remember your accomplishments, the goals you are working on and what you are working toward. Give yourself a break.
Be aware of your language internal and external. Absolutes are absolutely the last thing that belong in healthy self talk.
Start watching for signs of the sneaky trap. What triggers do you have that set it up? Lack of sleep, anxiety, vitamin or mineral deficiency, social isolation, finances, communication issues, emotional scars that flare up?
When you catch yourself slipping, how can you change how you say? Take ownership and problem solve. When this happens I feel like ---. Communicate with those around you "I am feeling rough today, and ask for help."
Do not assume no one has time for you. Do not assume no one cares. Do not assume you are worthless or a failure. Do not assume!!!
If you aren't communicating clearly- even if all you can manage is to say "I am in a bad head space" or "I am not communicating well" people are wrapped up in their own life juggling and may not catch the silent signs to reach out to you. Whatever has hit the all or nothing switch- although it feels insurmountable, it will pass and eventually it will be small and ridiculous in the rearview mirror of your life.

For today, take care of you. Attend to how you talk to yourself and what words you use in dialogue with yourself and those you love.
Quit beating yourself up over life lessons and focus on the reasons you can choose to smile and grow.