You may have heard me say this – we have choice. We always have choice. It is part of being human. But now, as the choices are becoming more limited/restricted and the resulting stress is pandemic, it may feel like there is little or no choice. Or, we may recognize the choices, but it is difficult to decide between them because none of the options seems much better than the other. Sound familiar?
I will say to you, never has choice been more important to you and your quality of life. Why is this? Because I am literally observing people do one of two things:
~ Either choose to make the best of things, be positive, bring love and compassion for themselves and others into their daily lives, thereby reducing and managing stress, or
~ Choose to be disillusioned, upset, becoming increasingly worried stressed about things that are beyond their control.
It is important to understand that actively exercising timely choice in in our lives, results in enhanced discernment about what we can control and manage and what we cannot.
Let me bottom line this for you, from my perspective. The only thing we can truly control is ourselves. And when have true self-understanding, we can gain control in our lives, resulting in our ability to respond vs. react. This allows the best choice to become lucidly clear (even when none of the options seem viable or favorable).
We may not always like our choices – AND we always have choice. When we consistently, consciously exercise choice, we experience feelings of freedom and empowerment. Remember no choice is a choice. Not making a choice and letting things just happen, nearly always results in the experience of disempowerment, discouragement, feeling loss of control, and overwhelming stress.
Not making a choice is a choice! Another thing I observe in this area of making choices is that some people have a tendency to analyze and gather information so that they can make the best possible choice. This often becomes a stalling strategy, due to concern or fear of making the wrong choice. For people who find themselves here, I recommend an internal self-chat and setting a deadline by when to consciously decide.
Yes, there are always ensuing results from whatever choice we make, but once we make a decision and put it into motion, we have the opportunity to gain additional information about that choice. If new information indicates it was not the best one, we can make a new choice! It’s honestly that simple! Unfortunately, our ‘perfectionist’ often gets involved, and slows down the decision making process.
When we don’t exercise conscious choice, we can rapidly move into survival, vs. the ability to thrive. Survival is related to fear – flight or fight – the old brain response. And even though many of us in our current unfamiliar environment are paring down to a new restricted level of living, we do not have to reside in fear – and, it is a choice.
When we use tools to keep our brains in the cognitive area and the pre-frontal cortex, this allows us to make good decisions. Fear on the other hand puts us into the animal state. And when the fear crops up, because it does (and it will continue to in this current environment filled with tough choices), it is important that you go back to what you know work. Keep things as simple and easy as possible right now – breathing exercises, meditation, exercise, eating well, restful sleep, … You already know what it is for you!
Making wise, consistent (daily), small choices builds a positive continuum for your life that will a new solid foundation. Especially right now when so many of us are in some form of isolation and severely restricted as to who we see in person, who we can touch physically, and what we do both for work to generate income and for pleasure and relaxation.
I totally agree with giving ourselves a week or two to relax and unwind. But after that, then what? I know if I don’t make the effort to:
- eat well,
- exercise regularly,
- wake up well rested,
- consciously breathe
- look my best,
- keep my environment clean and tidy,
then my spirits are not nearly as positive as when I do make this effort. I like looking at myself when I look good – its that simple. I love my environment when it looks good. Its easier to manage the daily stressors when I eat well and get enough rest. My whole physical system works much more efficiently when I take full breaths. We as humans are visual and respond to our environments – both internally and externally.
- What are the small choices you can make to enhance each day this week?
- What choices will nurture your soul and your physical being right now?
- What can you do hour by hour that will assist you in knowing you have had a productive day when you fall asleep tonight?
- Projects you have never had the time to start (or finish)?
- Organization that you have been putting off?
- People you have not connected with for some time?
- Who have you not told that you admire them, appreciate them, love them …. (fill in the blank)?
- What do you love doing that you can do while you are at home and not working?
There has never been a better time than now!
Have a wonderful week, full of conscious, effective, life-enhancing choices to proactively lower stress.
I am holding you in my heart.
Verla Wade & The Living Light Foundation