I have just spent the last half an hour on the phone arguing with someone at a big insurance company over our car registration and green slip renewal. Infuriated much?! I won’t bore you with details, suffice to say I was getting nowhere by arguing. I could slowly feel my frustration and stress levels rising to boiling point. My whole body was tense, ready to scream ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH down the phone. This kind of stress can’t be good for me, right?!
It made me think … how easily we fall back into bad habits. How quickly we forget.
Having a chronic illness has taught me many things. I have reassessed and taken a really good look at myself and the way I live my life. I’ve become very conscious of some of my often unhealthy ways and behaviours, and was adamant I would not let myself revert back to these patterns. Evidently, I have …
How easily, without much thought (especially when feeling healthy) it is to forget these important things we learn, realisations and consequent changes we implement in our way of living. How carelessly and often unconsciously we fall back into those old habits, mindsets, and potentially harmful ways of thinking and being. I know how detrimental some of these can be.
Let me explain what I’m talking about…
I’m talking about work/life balance. Life isn’t all about a career, making millions or having material “things”. I’m talking about re-prioritising. Understanding and recognising what really matters.
I’m talking about slowing down life in the fast lane. Always busy, on the go, crossing off to do lists, a crazy hectic non-stop lifestyle. What happened to allocating me time? Relax time. Family time. Taking and making time for the important things. The things that really count.
I’m talking about not taking anything for granted. Being grateful and appreciative of the little things.
I’m talking about not judging a book by its cover. Everyone is going through something you don’t know about. Being patient, non-judgemental and forgiving.
I’m talking about not looking after myself. Not sleeping enough, not eating properly, overindulging in alcohol. I KNOW how important this is to my health!
I’m talking about worrying too much. Am I likeable, funny, interesting enough? Beating myself up and being overly hard on myself.
I’m talking about being stressed! This is a BIG ONE! Letting things get to me. Getting worked up about inconsequential things that really don’t matter in the grand scheme of things (like my car rego). So what if something doesn’t go to plan or exactly how you thought it would. I know full well I can’t control everything that happens to me.
I’m talking about remembering that sometimes you just have to GO WITH THE FLOW!
I’m forgetting these things. Particularly since being in remission and back in the daily routine of work and reality. I’m noticing it more and more frequently of late. I know when I’m behaving or thinking in a damaging way. I can feel my whole body and mind fighting against it. I worry about what I am doing to myself and how doing or not doing these things potentially could attribute to making myself sick again, or flaring up, or who knows what else.
I need to practice what I preach. So why don’t I?
You can’t just click your fingers and change a life learned tendency. Deeply engrained personality traits and behaviours don’t just go away because you want them to! This reminds me of the movie Inside Out (which if you haven’t seen I highly recommend). Our brains are our headquarters, filled with core memories, long term memories and our unique personality islands formed over many years. All those different emotions fighting to take control. In the movie we see only 5 key emotions in Riley’s mind, but in reality there are far more than this!
My headquarters have been significantly rewired over the last few years, as many peoples can be over their lives whether due to a chronic illness or something else. Yet, I am still me, and no matter how many promises we’ve made ourselves to learn and grow from what we’ve been through, positive changes we’ve made, or affirmations we tell ourselves, sometimes we are going to trip up, and that’s OK. It doesn’t mean it was all for nothing or that we have forgotten completely. The important thing is being aware and conscious of it, right?
We are all wired very differently, and what works for one person, may not work or be what’s best for the next. It’s about learning and understanding what works and benefits you. I would love to hear your thoughts on this.
Until next time, Laura