Custodio: How not to stress over the little things

OKAAAY. You can say that I am having the usual post-vacation blues. Japan was absolutely beautiful but reality beckoned (and we all need to heed the call) hence, I was back home before I could say Sayonara! And there I was, finding myself thrown in the den with the wolves (melodramatically speaking), drowned out by all their howling! There was just too many voices needed to be heard that it made me want to cower in one corner and just stay there! But just like everyone else, life must go on, even when you haven’t had your fill of authentic Osaka takoyaki yet! I guess that meant that I needed to be back. To work. Huhuhu.

As I move from that place of zen to my life of chaos, I find myself beseeched with so many stresses. Coming from a near-perfect stress-free situation, one can just imagine how the littlest of problems can make boulders out of tiny pebbles of discomfort. Arrghhh. Deeply overwhelmed with the tasks at hand, it felt like I was being defeated by all the challenges that came one after the other. Haven’t we all had those moments of sheer delight when everything was smoothly moving along only to be halted suddenly by something that can make you feel the exact opposite in a flash? Yes? Well, you are not alone! Welcome to the club!

But wait. Sometimes things just appear to be bad but in fact, are not. Sometimes we need to sit down, take a deep breath and calmly survey the situation. Maybe we just need to be uh, underwhelmed? You know, so we can think more clearly and be more objective? Little things matter in the grand scheme of things and when these are negative thoughts and feelings all bunched together into one big nega whole, it can be quite stressful. We shouldn't be sweating the small stuff and it pays to know how to do it!

Clear your mind. Certain situations make us panic and when this happens we lose all clarity. It would also help if we try to be objective. Years back I had a guy friend tell me that the best way to solve any problem is to take emotions out of the equation. Believe me, it helps when you refrain from whining and overthinking due to the feelings you have about any situation! Just take it and see it for what is, minus your usual feels! Try it!

Learn to look at things from different perspectives. Compare if you must. Bad as it may sound, there are worse things that can happen. Really. Be aware of your situation but also take note that there are better times ahead for you and people who are worse off (sorry but this is true) than yourself!

If you must really, really feel it imperative to sweat the small stuff, give it time..a time limit!!! Please do not dwell too long on a negative thought! Ruminative thinking only makes things worse, my friend. Thinking and rethinking negative thoughts will only make you feel more sad and depressed. That is never good so stop, take a deep breath and examine the condition calmly and objectively before you react. It takes practice but when you do it regularly, it can be done and with more ease as you go along.

Let us not forget though, the natural stress busters. Like for example, unexpected good news. This past week I was pleasantly surprised when I received a private message from a friend’s nephew whom I have had a chance to speak with about bariatric surgery. I willingly offered him my two cents’ worth on getting it done having gone through it myself and losing 150 pounds that took me off my diabetic and hypertensive medications. Long story short, he had it done and is now enjoying a healthier life, 120 pounds less! Good news like this pumps needed endorphins in your body and a better mood always gives you a more positive outlook!

Lastly, rely on the support of friends and family. When I was doing this article, someone came to and gave lechon to one of the senior high school kids I was sharing the table with at the café. Apparently that friend has been craving for it for days so she bought it for her. She also had a series of feel good flashcards for her to make her feel better. (I'm assuming that the friend was going through some problems and needed cheering up.). Awwww. Wasn't that nice? It had me smiling secretly from ear to ear! Friendships are so precious, even more when someone goes out if your way to really make you feel better!

So, whenever you're in a rut just remember to sift through all the reasons why you feel sh*tty in the first place. Weed out the itsy-bitsy reasons or stop them from turning into major issues that will make you feel worse. Don't get overly emotional but do become objective. Appreciate the smallest victories rather than the setbacks. Think before you react. Believe in the power of good news and the love of good friends and family. Feel better! Happy Sunday Everyone! :)
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