Originally Posted January 20 2017
A Few Tricks for Relieving Stress in a Stressful World:
1. Cut the News Out of Your Life As Much as You Can!
This one is hard… ridiculously hard. You’d be surprised how much our society and technology is designed towards you throwing news articles and headlines in your face everywhere you turn, so no you’re not going to get rid of the news entirely…. but it’s been almost a decade since I’ve stopped actively following the news and you never really look back.
Now does this mean that you ignore the world around you? Actually it’s the opposite of that entirely! Spend the time you used to use reading 20 different versions of the same story, and instead go out and find people from around the world who interest you. Find youtube vloggers, twitter accounts to follow, instragram accounts to browse. Make friends, build contacts, touch lives and let them touch yours.
This will take time and work… it’s not the kind of thing that happens overnight. But as you meet new people you’ll start to notice some things…. a) you’ll be hearing about world events sooner and far more accurately than the news. I usually hear about a world event 15-20 minutes before any news company has a chance to post it, and yes there is still hyperbole and bias…. but it’s of a different flavour.
See newspapers rarely seem to focus on informing people these days…. they are a business, their focus is to sell papers, and nothing sells papers more than hype, panic, and click bait. Friends on the other hand are a lot more complicated. They have bias, desires, hopes and fears. They want you to understand why _____ matters to them and they want it to matter to you too.
b) The more you meet people around the world, the more you begin to understand their culture. The amount of times I groan at seeing a headline or article which takes 1 aspect of a back end part of a culture and makes it out to be the whole country or group is like that makes my head spin. Whether out of bias or laziness, there are a lot of half baked opinions bouncing around out there which only helps to broaden divides and nurture fear of different groups.
c) You will find your stress goes down a lot. Most articles are designed for one main purpose. To show you why you should be panicked. Why you should read every article that is updated every day to see how this might have updated. Let’s look up every scandal we can dig up on Trump! Let’s find every psychologist who can stand by and say ____ causes school violence! Let’s show the sirens blaring and look up every detail we can about how this killer did his work! Seriously people… it’s not healthy
2. Be Who You Are, Not Who You’re Told to Be!
Now I want to clarify up front on this one. There are two very deeply dug in camps on this argument. Camp 1 claims you should accept yourself for who you are faults and all because your faults make you beautiful and society should just learn to accept you for the things you can’t change. Camp 2 claims that society is letting people run too wild and we should learn to conceal who we are so we can do what we need to to be a functioning member of society.
Let me clarify. I agree with neither side on this matter…. well actually I agree with both sides… but also don’t…. it’s complicated….
We are made different from one another. We learn differently, see the world differently, are capable of doing different things from each other… We are different. And I think that in itself is one of the most beautiful facts about this world.
We are different. No one is complete within themselves. We need each other to see the things we ourselves cannot see. It’s scary yes, it means a lack of control over our own destiny and lives, but it’s also beautiful as one of our greatest needs as it is is companionship.
So don’t waste your life trying to be someone else. Anyone can be someone else, but only you can be you! Don’t waste your time chasing after things that anyone could do. Do the things only YOU can do!
But at the same time, let me put out a warning…. There are many who take this advice and push towards “I can’t change the way I am…. There’s no point in even fighting this problem because it’s just the way I was born… I should just learn to accept this and try to find a way to deal with the consequences of my involuntary actions. It’s not my fault I have such limiting disabilities.”
Look, if you are taking your identity in your limitations you are really missing the whole point of who you are.
YOU ARE NOT JUNK! You are a creation from the most high God who does not love humanity, He loves the Humans. He loves YOU! YOURSELF! Not humanity as a whole for their potential, but each and every individual life on a personal level!
I love Canada. I love Japan. I love Christianity. I love Gaming and Internet culture. Can I say I love every single person in any of these to a personal level? No! There are people in each of these groups who I want nothing to do with ever! But God is not like that. He does not love the group of Humanity. He loves YOU. Mike, Laura, Sarah, John, Sam, Ravdeep, Navdeep, Miku, Laura, Sandeep, Prabjeet, Joham, Pierre, Anna, Simri, Chris, etc…. Every single person as an individual. He loves you all… He created you all… Humanity wasn’t a one time deal where he set up the box of instant humans and then let them build their own race… No! Each and every one of you is so intricately designed to the finest details, and let me tell you one thing!
GOD DOES NOT MAKE JUNK!
You are made as a unique person, and you shouldn’t throw away your uniqueness…. but you were also not made complete from day one. You grow, you build up yourself, you learn, and you overcome!
There is a large difference between saying “People get frustrated on me for being emotional” or “For being artsy” or “For writing stories” or “For talking to anyone” or “For caring about sports” and saying “People get worried because I don’t take care of myself” or “because I’m not responsible” or “because I have to keep gambling, drinking, doing drugs, *insert vice here*”
We do have weaknesses that differ from person to person…. And it is very rare that those weaknesses are properly diagnosed by other people…. When I was in middle school I was always being told off for my daydreaming. Teachers felt they had to dumb down lessons so I could keep up with them. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized the reverse was actually true. I had been gifted with a mind that can handle a lot of moving data at once, and because of that, learning made no sense to me until I could grasp the big picture all at once, and then see how each individual basics worked in it. Does this mean that I should never study the basics? Forgo my scales? Never do stretches? No! That would be stupid! I had to learn how to control my own abilities like anyone does, and muscle through the basics. Otherwise I would be limiting my own future.
The same goes for all of you. Don’t feel like your identity is found in what you can’t do. People keep saying “If we truly cared about people we would be supportive of them and let them just accept their weaknesses. In fact I’d say the reverse is true. I CAN’T accept that you are nothing but your weakness because I have way too much faith in your value as a person. I don’t think you are made to be a carbon copy of Academia’s finest, but I do believe you were made the way you were for a reason, and that by overcoming your weaknesses and growing in strength, anyone has the potential to make a huge impact on this world!
3. Reassess What You’re Living to Accomplish!
Have you ever asked “Why?”…. I mean it’s a word that parents teach us as kids to stop asking… not that I blame them…. “Why do you want me to stop asking why you are asking me to stop asking why???” But I think it’s a question that we, as adults, REALLY need to start asking ourselves again.
Why are you doing this? You work hard… you do what you’re told… you work overtime… you give into peer pressure… you give it your best so you can earn the money that you can’t find the time to use because you’re working so hard…. so why???
What do you hope to accomplish out of this life?? Do you hope to have a good house? Do you hope to raise a family? Do you hope to become someone of power? Do you hope to find a reason? Do you hope to avoid a fate that scares you? Whatever you’re doing there is always a reason you’re doing it…. whether you actively know it or not.
For me? My answer is pretty simple… “Love the Lord Your God with all your Heart Soul and Strength, and Love Your Neighbor As Yourself.” It’s pretty straightforward… looks good on a plaque…. it’s been my goal for over a decade now and the reason behind anything I do…. Alone it may not look like much, but in practice it changes everything…
Know what you want to live for…. It helps you to no end in your life. It changes the reasons why you do things, it changes what you’re chasing after, what you’re willing to sacrifice, what you aren’t willing to back down on.
Yes there are sacrifices that are made from committing to one thing, but believe it or not you’re already sacrificing a ton by not making the decision to commit to something yourself 😉
There are times I think my life would be easier if I wasn’t committed to this…. I could probably make a lot more money or influence if I didn’t feel so guilty when taking advantage of people…. I’d probably be in a relationship if I wasn’t so set on finding someone I would be able to help the best in their life, not wanting people to settle even if it’s on me, I’d probably feel a lot better if I let myself rip someone’s head off from time to time if they annoyed me… or feel less awkward about putting long and personal posts online for everyone to see by opening my heart in the hopes that it might encourage someone… Ya there are a lot of things that I think might be easier if I didn’t live by the code that I live… but do I regret it? Haven’t ever yet….
For every thing I’ve given up, I’ve gotten back tenfold! And yes, there are a lot of things in life that stress me out…. a lot of things I don’t know how to deal with…. but even still can I say that I regret anything?? I can say I regret the times I gave in and didn’t follow this core purpose far more than the times that I’ve kept true to it.
Will your purpose for moving forward be mine? Well it would be certainly be nice to think so! But like I said before…. You aren’t me so I shouldn’t expect that…. but trust me, when you know why you’re getting up in the morning…. what really matters to you… your life changes, and it is far far better.