Today we have a guest post from Jodi Krizer Graber about managing stress in your life. Jodi has geared it specifically toward dancers (she has a dance background), offering some advice on how to feel less overwhelmed when the pressure is on…
by Jodi Krizer Graber
Overwhelmed – just writing the word makes me anxious. How does it make you feel? Do you live in a state of being overwhelmed? If so, you are not alone. 64% of Americans say they are taking steps to reduce stress in their lives and, according to the World Health Organization, an estimated 121 million people world-wide currently suffer from depression.
Think about some of the technology we have now: ATM machines, television with hundreds of channels, DVR, cell phones, digital voicemail, and, of course, the internet/email. All of this is supposed to make our lives easier, and in many ways it does. But, in other ways, all of this technology adds to our to-do list, often leading to feelings of worry, stress, anxiety and depression.
A key to overcoming overload is to take 100% responsibility for your life. That is not to say that being overwhelmed is “your fault,” but it does mean that you are the only person who can get yourself out of it. “Take 100% Responsibility For Your Life” is the first chapter in Jack Canfield’s (co-creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series) national bestseller, The Success Principles. Why? Because it is the foundation upon which you can build the life you want.
Ted Shawn said, “Dance is the only art wherein we ourselves are the stuff in which it is made.” Combine this mantra with Jack Canfield’s declaration, and you’ve got a lot of pressure hanging over your head, and that can be quite overwhelming. It’s a lot of pressure. It’s up to YOU.
And you can manage it all.
Imagine this scenario: You joined a gym to supplement dance classes and rehearsals. You haven’t gone yet because you are too tired in the morning – you are often out late with friends who, you say, make you feel badly if you don’t join them. Or, you stay up late every night watching television and then hit the snooze button one too many times.
Now, let’s envision the above scenarios and change the outcome by taking responsibility for our lives:
- Friends want you to join them for dinner and then hang out at the bar. Though you enjoy spending time with your friends, your goal is to get stronger and you really want to go to the gym in the morning. You know you will be too tired if you stay out late. Instead of allowing peer pressure to overwhelm you, explain to your friends that you will join them one or two nights during the week, but the other nights you want to get home early, relax and get to sleep early so you can go to the gym in the morning. That is an example of taking 100% responsibility for your life and then you can have the best of both worlds – time with your friends and time at the gym. The result: a happier, more physically fit YOU.
- You stay up too late watching television and then hit the snooze button too many times in the morning. Now, you have to get ready for the day and once again you missed the opportunity to go to the gym. Think about what you are watching – are you engrossed in history-making programs that will change the course of the world as we know it? Or, are you watching dramas about other people’s lives to escape the realities of your own? Get real with yourself and take responsibility for your life. Watch a comedy that makes you laugh and relax, then get into bed and read for a bit. You will fall asleep earlier and be rested to get up for the gym the next morning. What result can you generate with this scenario?
I understand the above scenarios, in which you take 100% responsibility for your life, may not seem easy to do. Start slowly and create habits which shift your perspective on your life. Taking responsibility for small shifts will give you the confidence to make a transformation to your best life.
Some things to think about:
- First and foremost, breathe. Write down some excuses you’ve used for not being your best you.
- Now, write out ways you can alter those excuses to create healthy, nourishing habits.
- Pick one to concentrate on for the next month. Once you are comfortable with this new habit, start with another modification to take 100% responsibility for your life.
©Jodi Krizer Graber/Bravo! Wellness, LLC
BIO: Jodi Krizer Graber is a nutrition expert, wellness authority and caring coach. She specializes in stress management techniques examined through nutrition and lifestyle lenses and also works with individuals challenged with eating disorders. She is a graduate of the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and holds a master’s degree from New York University. After 20 years as an arts executive in New York City, Jodi received her certification as a holistic health counselor because she saw a need for wellness coaching for busy professionals. She completed post-graduate work at Columbia University’s Institute for Integrative Nutrition and founded Bravo! Wellness, LLC in 2008.