How to lower your stress and improve the quality of your life
- Category: Self-Help
“A 'No' uttered from deepest conviction is better and greater than a 'Yes' merely uttered to please, or what is worse, to avoid trouble.“
(I see in this photo an example of clarity with everything essential in its optimal place for the sustainability of all. We need this kind of clarity too. JP)
Acting out an eating disorder, as I think most of you know, is your attempt to cope with anxiety, grief, anger, loneliness and even happiness. A certain level of your stress created by external events or inner psychological habits and development becomes too much to tolerate. You binge or restrict as a way to gain control and feel powerful instead of feeling overwhelmed by your emotions. *pix
Yes, reducing your stress reduces your need for your eating disorder. But simply living a life of reduced stress puts you in a vulnerable situation. You may be guarded against new opportunities for expanding your quality of life since anything new might cross your protective boundaries and bring on stress that you can only mange by falling into your eating disorder.
Here's a way out of this stuck situation. Gandhi is talking getting at this with his above quote. Now we can take what he says apart and find ways to apply it to how you live right now.
- Where is your "No"?
- When do you wish you can say it?
- To whom do you want to say, "No"? (you can include yourself too.)
- What fuels your deepest conviction?
- What value do you gain by pleasing others?
- Why is it important for you to avoid trouble?
Take some time to take an inventory of your daily life and make positive changes.
Consider this activity part of your normal routine, as regular as looking in the mirror in the morning as you wash your face, brush your teeth and comb/brush your hair.
Rather than take on your entire life all at once start small and clear. Taking on too much can propel you toward a binge or the treadmill.
Start with one room or one closet or one drawer.
Evaluate the contents.
Sort the contents into categories:
- what you use,
- what you save,
- what you don't use but might use,
- what you don't use but keep for emotional reasons,
- what you use but wish were in better shape,
- what you keep because you don't know what to do with it,
- what you keep because someone will be offended if you don't.
As you sort, be aware of what gets in the way of your saying "No," to the presences of an article that you don't use or don't care about or never want to use again.
Be aware of what touches your heart strings. Is this something you want to give more space and honor in your life? These can be subtle, like a newspaper clipping of a subject you are interested in and want to study but haven't so far. Or it might be a photo of a person who represents a way of thinking or living that you admire and want for your own.
As you reorder this space, allow yourself to be assertive. Keep what is valuable to you. You say "No," and recycle the rest in some way that feels right to you. You let what is not useful to you have an opportunity to be useful to someone else in the same form or in a new form. But either way, you get it out of your living and emotional space.
When you do this regularly you do far more than clear your space. You make your space and its contents more relevant to what you care about and value.
More than that, you exercise your ability to recognize and be firm about what is not important to you and deepen your conviction about what "No" means to you and the way you live your life.
More than that you discover your conviction strengthens and empowers you beyond a need for your eating disorder. The eating disorder is less of a solution to your stresses. You deal with your stress with the power of your conviction to say, "No."
- Can you select a corner, drawer, closet, desk, room and sort in this way?
- What did you choose and why did you choose it?
- What did you find that you kept keep?
- What did recycle?
- Where did you find saying "No" a challenge?
- How did you feel when you said "No" and disposed of what was no longer relevant to you?
- What are the consequences, so far, of your life honoring exercise?