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D.W. (KENKOU) 13. May 2016

Creating Our Own Space – Between Catastrophes and Cat Videos

mindfulness relaxation emotions media stress relief

Going to the gym, eating healthy, taking your time – we’re searching for the “right” way of life as if it were the holy grail. We get steam-rolled by the media with all the rules of self-optimization and endless distractions. How can we create our daily space to find focus and reflect on what we really need?

Finding the right activities and doing them consequently can be stressful, especially when trying to juggle work and private life. Not doing them isn’t a solution either, as that also creates stress, a new study found.

We feel guilty and frustrated about our lack of self-control and try to exert even more control over what we perceive as deficits, clinging to rigid rules instead of letting positive goals become our motivation.


THE STRESS OF CREATING THE PERFECT YOU

I must go to the gym twice a week! I won’t have chocolate at home! One hobby isn’t enough! Are those the things we want to do, or do we have to do them? Does our wellbeing become a stress factor when we feel we have to control everything?

We often lack the peace of mind and cool head to realize what’s really important. It has become all about functioning properly in a rapidly changing world full of diversions.

TRAFFIC JAMS, EARTHQUAKES, CAT VIDEOS

Traditional media spreads bad news from around the globe, and social media floods us with tweets and messages, all of which create stress. Constant diversion and the pressure to respond and react to everything can drain our energy and cause stress, even if we find that new cat video oh-so-funny.

We’re fine being bombarded with content in order not to miss anything, and stop selecting what to let in or keep out. That means we gradually lose the power over our thoughts and feelings.


RELAXING THROUGH THE POWER OF THE MOMENT

While it’s impossible to completely rid stressors from our lives, we can change how they impact us by using the methods of mindfulness.

Through conscious breathing exercises, self-control and meditation, we can step away from our own whirlwind of emotions.

There’s no pill against stress and there may never be one. The faster and more organized our life becomes, the more important it is to have individual solutions to fall back on.

We will have to learn how to care for our mind. Relaxation exercises could become part of our daily routine like brushing your teeth.

We can only master that change if we stop suppressing or ignoring stress. We have to face it to better understand stress and, that way, better understand ourselves.