I remember years ago when I was practicing law, I had a partner who, whenever asked how he was, would reply that he was “so busy, busy, busy”! Always three busy’s. It struck me at that time how many of us, me included, wore our busyness as some kind of badge of honour. And I still see it today almost forty years later. I was reminded of this recently when I read a great book called Stressaholic by Dr Heidi Hanna. Two of her numerous quotable quotes stand out for me:
“We’ve all been fooled by the story that the busier we are and the more stressed we are, the more important we must be.”
“Stress is neither good nor bad; it just is. What determines the impact of stress on our system is our ability to adapt to it.”
Let’s add to these Victor Frankl’s famous words all those years ago:
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
So, what can we take from these quotes? My take is that if we choose to respond more positively to stress and pressure of work, then we grow and perhaps even find freedom. However, if we choose to focus, as I have pointed out above, on that busyness or how stressful things are, then maybe things don’t turn out that well. In fact, according to several books I have come across in recent years, it turns out that scientists are finding that the space between stimulus and our response is a crucial (repetitive) moment in our lives since, if we respond with negative emotion, there is a direct link to our acquiring some serious illnesses: anxiety and depression, even heart disease and cancer – and, apparently deaths from the latter two amount to 75% of all deaths each year.
So, we should think twice before we choose to focus on the overwhelm and stress we feel, even if we experience things as really tough. Choosing to use that negative energy to focus on stress and busyness as a “just is” seems a much healthier option in the long run.
Until next week, (choose healthily and) keep safe and well. Kind regards and best wishes Lauron