There are some fresh new approaches to life I have adopted as coping tools that I would like to share with you. I have found they work enormously well in many situations, as long as you continue to use them. Using them is key!
I was reading some articles about how to rewire your own brain so tasks that ordinarily seem insurmountable to you on a daily basis could become commonplace and simple, just by doing something different everyday in your regular routine. For instance, I hated mowing the lawn. It was a loathsome chore to me and my only thought when mowing the lawn was reminding my husband to do it. Then it became my opinion that my husband also hated mowing the lawn. I would blame him for taking numerous shortcuts and for neglecting to mow huge chunks of the yard. This aggravated me.
It wasn’t his fault that this situation caused me great angst. He was doing the grass his way and he had every right to do the grass his way. Just because someone doesn’t, or won’t, do tasks exactly the way you want them done, or the way you’d do them yourself, it doesn’t make them wrong. It just means this is the way they choose to do them.
I know though that this can still cause arguments with folks.
Eventually it reached a point that every time I thought about the lawn, or anything to do with the lawn, or even gardening. I would immediately experience a plunging demeanor and a great deal of stress. I began to despise my own yard. I would let the weeds take over and choke the tiny bit of grass we did have. Grass died that I had struggled to grow by planting seeds and watering them every day. I completely stopped weeding my flowerbeds and let them go absolutely wild.
Soon the only “gardening” being done was by the cats that loved to bed down in the shady flowerbeds, using the blanket of weeds as a soft mattress. After a few days the poor weeds would succumb and die from suffocation.
One day I was watching this web seminar about stress and the woman was holding up a glass. She asked the group how heavy they thought the glass was and each student took the time to answer. Some thought it was 8 oz. while others thought it might be heavier. Oh here, watch this short video. It tells the story much better than I can!
Did you get that?!
It makes so much sense to me when it’s put so simply. Now the key here is to figure out how to put the glass down. This is the reason I decided to change the way I perceive things. In order to put the glass down, you want to be able to think differently and that means making new neural pathways to send your brain happily skipping down.
Back to that grass…
I decided that instead of thinking of the lawn in terms of my husband, I decided to think of it as it only pertained to me. What could I gain from mowing the grass myself, instead of always assuming the job should be his? As it turns out, several good things!! Let’s count those!
- I would be outside in the sunshine and fresh air.
- I would be getting some great exercise.
- The entire yard could get mowed on a regular basis.
- If the entire yard was being mowed on a regular basis this would mean less weeds! Weeds get choked out by grass that’s kept trimmed.
- I could do the trimming just the way I wanted it done and I could make plans for new flowers, trees and shrubs.
- I didn’t have to remind my husband several times to mow the grass.
- Not having to remind him meant less stress for me if he ignored me and did it several days later.
- Less stress for me meant a more loving atmosphere at home for both of us.
- A more loving atmosphere meant a new and healthier neural pathway for me.
By forcing myself to look at a situation differently I taught myself to find happiness instead of constantly being worn down by stress I was adding to my plate that I did not need to add.
There’s something for you to think about today. How can you make some new neural pathways in order to alleviate some of your own daily stress? Some great ideas are to listen to music instead of watching television. Take a walk in a different neighborhood. Take an afternoon to read a book instead of doing paperwork. Call a friend and just chat. Or do nothing at all! Just sit and enjoy the silence!
There are so many different paths you can take. Why not explore all of them?