Inhale. Now exhale. Sometimes the pressure that comes along with life can seem so overpowering. Stress and worry don’t discriminate. They attack us all equally if given the chance. More often than not we get overwhelmed with all that we have going on. In between taking care of children, work, school, and other familial obligations, feelings of overwhelm can weaken us. It is at those times that we need to simply stop, breathe, and examine.
Whenever I find myself in a high pressure situation I feel as though a heavy weight is physically holding me down. As a former military wife with young children, you can only imagine the stressors I faced. From having a husband deployed to Afghanistan to managing a home as a single mother, I worried myself sick, literally. One day, in a grocery store check-out line, I had a breakdown. I began to feel an intense pain in my head and even lost my vision for a moment. It was not until I sought the help of a doctor that I learned the episode was caused by me stretching myself too thin. Although difficult, I look at that time in my life as a blessing; for it was then I learned if you let it, stress will become an agony that will lead you to a depressing existence.
During my husband’s deployment there were instances where I did not hear from him for extended periods of time, and because of this, I grew to be a frightened wife. There were times when I had to isolate myself from everything so that I could just sit down and breathe. It was in those moments that I would empty my mind of all thoughts. I stopped thinking about my husband, for I told myself that he was fully capable of doing all that he was trained to do. I stopped worrying about the kids, for I knew they were safe and sound. I let go of all of the “to-do” lists and responsibilities that consumed me. Through meditation and prayer, my mind became clear and I was able to examine the way I handled the pressures in my life. I made a conscious decision to choose my sanity first.
Now, I prioritize and pace myself for the challenges ahead-this is something I previously didn’t do. I allow myself the break that we as people most definitely need. It’s okay to get away every now and again. You don’t even have to go on a “real” vacation. Having alone time can be a physical state of aloneness but, it can also be a state of mind. The most important thing is that when we need to that we take these breaks, we stop, breathe, and examine. It gives us a chance to take the edge off of the daily pressures we face. And in doing so, we can find peace in any situation.
This article is intended for general education purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional counseling or medical care. If you are interested in seeking professional counseling, please contact The Stone Foundation by clicking here, or by phone at 410-296-2004.