Since I was I young child I remember feeling stressed on a daily basis. I used to get upset very easily and I also cried very easily. I was an only child for the first five years of my life and I had the all of the attention of my parents. They were very protective and caring. However, every time I was emotional, my parents would not approve of it. They thought I was overacting and that I was embarrassing them.
Even now my parents expect me to behave in a certain way. They are mad at me when I express my feelings. My ex-partner felt the same. So, now that I am approaching forty, I try to hide my feelings and control my reactions. The reason why I do this is that the people around me are not understanding and they make me feel bad about my emotions. They consider me the weak and believe I need attention. However, what my mouth doesn’t say, my face does. It is obvious that there is something wrong with me and they are still mad at me.
“What is wrong with you? Stop having that long face”!
Over the years I have been diagnosed with the Irritable Bowel Syndrome, acidic reflux and herniated spine and neck discs. My doctors suggested that my stomach/bowel issue might be stress induced.
“Try to relax “they said.
How can I relax when I know how the people around me will react? They will blame me for not controlling myself and my emotions
“Your stress is to be blamed for everything! You are making yourself sick because you are thinking about being sick!”
Luckily my problems have been under control for quite some time now.
In the past few months, I have been trying to change my lifestyle and my way of thinking. I pray more, I exercise a bit and I try to be less materialistic. (I do try but those online mid-season sales on clothes are killing me). I have even taken up gardening. I started planting succulents because they are easy to grow. It is going quite well and I am proud of myself. Now that I look back, I realize that I should have taken it easy years ago. The fact that I used to work too hard and worry too much about what others thought about me caused me various problems that I still haven’t been able to overcome completely.
I also listen to relaxing music and I find time between jobs to watch some TV even if I am not always satisfied with what I am watching. I just spend half an hour watching something silly in order to clear my head.
I don’t know if I will ever be able to completely remove stress from my life or even reduce it significantly but I am actually trying to improve myself and that makes me feel well.
There are always ups and downs but I try not to lose my focus or my faith. I admit that sometimes I still get affected by the way people treat me. Most of the times though, I no longer take it personally. I remind myself that life is short and that it is the small everyday things that make us happy.