While recently traveling in Europe I began having some personal revelations about coping with stress. Though traveling in foreign country, out of my element, and on the wrong side of the road, I realized I felt more calm and relaxed than I have in some time. One might write the sensation off to “vacation mode,” but I’m actually working while traveling…so it does not quite feel like a holiday.
The trip has gone well with only a few bumps in the road…like accidentally filling the car with petrol instead of diesel! (Who knew the green gas handle means diesel in the US and petrol in the rest of the world!?)
But even during times of stress, I never felt flustered, angry, or tense as I sometimes feel at work. Why?
I realized that the culture I was submerged in (rural Ireland) has a general attitude of simply “Going with the flow.” Surrounded by this atmosphere, I realized trying to control everything really isn’t possible or necessary. “Controlling everything” is a game you can’t win.
Moral = Life has too many variables, the ride matters more than the destination.
This personal revelation will serve me when I get back to my usual routine. I hope this insight will help many of my patients that struggle with mounting stress and the illusion of controlling life circumstances. So many of the ailments I treat in clinic really have less to do with genetics or disease, but rather nutrition and stress. Much of this stress stems from self-imposed deadlines, unrealistic expectations, or holding of grudges. Certainly attitude and approach to life can change everything.
I’ve written about stress in numerous related posts because convincing people to change habits, buck cultural trends, or avoid lifestyles of excess pay huge dividends for those choosing to invest in themselves.
If stress plays a role in your life remember: Change what you can, accept what you can’t.