Reframing Stress

I can’t remember if I’ve written about this before, and I apologize if this post doesn’t make much sense as I’m writing it late at night, but I find myself more and more able to reframe my everyday stresses lately. While experiencing severe illness provided me with a certain amount of perspective, there is an additional amount that I have worked, and continue to work, to refine and grow. I’ll probably work on growing this perspective forever.

No longer do I obsess over negative thought patterns for hours or days on end. I do not generally catch myself feeling consumed with anxiety over crowded to-do lists. With time and experience has come this unexpected ability to re-frame the things that, pre-illness, used to take over my thoughts to the point that I could not act on the tasks at hand.

This being said, I do still feel anxiety. I do still feel anger and stress. I do still feel fear and sadness. My life gets really busy sometimes, and I struggle to keep up with the ever-spinning hamster wheel that I have created for myself. The difference between my present and past selves, however, lies in gratitude and frame of mind. I am able to remember times in which a full schedule such as my current one would have been impossible, and I am able to appreciate the progress that I have made over the course of several years, even months.

Yes, I am busy, yes I have stress, yes my health isn’t ideal, and no I don’t have a completely clear vision of how to achieve all of my goals yet. I have, however, come an incredibly long way both spiritually and physically from where I was two years ago. I am developing the ability to acknowledge my day to day struggles without letting them consume me. I am developing the ability to maintain the perspective that the experience of being ill has granted me, even when I hit a low on the rollercoaster of life.

In a way, I have become grateful for my everyday anxieties. If a stressor is not health and/or mortality related, I am so fortunate to have it in my life, for there have been times where it would not have been able to exist. I now catch myself, often multiple times a day, telling myself how amazing it is that I am experiencing stress over something so mundane as school or work or scheduling. I urge anyone reading this to look at their lives and attempt to do the same once in a while; I urge everyone to find gratitude in their mundane worries, for we are all so incredibly lucky to even be experiencing them.

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