We’ve all been in a situation that brings us to question whether or not what we are putting ourselves through is worth it.
Just this past year I decided that I had been sufficiently stressed to the point of exhaustion where my mental and physical health had deteriorated, and the project I was working on simply wasn’t worth it anymore.
To be more specific: the amount of money I had to trade for my time was insufficient due to the amount of stress it caused. So I walked away from the job site and never looked back.
Was walking away the best solution? Maybe not long term, but it was the best decision I’ve made for my well being in a very long time, perhaps even all time.
If you’re constantly stressed out, maybe it’s time to ask yourself: Is it worth all the stress that I am putting myself through right now? Is there a better way?
I wish I knew this earlier.
I came across a great assessment method while I was flipping through Reddit comments awhile back; the gold is always in the comments.
This method is called The Seven 7’s.
When you feel like you need to react to a situation and you need to think about what you’re going to do next, say to yourself:
“Is __________ going to matter in 7 seconds? 7 minutes? 7 hours? 7 days? 7 weeks? 7 months? 7 years?”
Fill in the blank with something like what’s happening right now; what he/she said; my actions; how I’m going to feel about what I want to do right now in the moment; if I don’t do this, is it; etc.
If you made it to 7 years, it’s probably never going to matter.
Obviously, every situation is different and will have a varying degree of severity in what you need to do, but this thought process allows you the time to apply priority so you can react in the appropriate amount of time, or not at all.
Thinking about my decision to quit this past year was an immediate need to remove myself from the stress of situation. I made the 7 seconds mark, but I wouldn’t make the 7 minutes and definitely not 7 hours. If I think I could have made it to the 7-day mark, I’d have a totally different life right now, or maybe not one at all.
What most of us don’t realize is that the “stress” that the doctor tells us we need to manage, is not just from work, home, or elsewhere, its from ALL of the stressors in our lives.
There are so many different kinds of stress: the shitty thing we say to ourselves on the inside like “why’d you do that, you dummy” or “why bother, you don’t have any chance making that shot”; physical stress like over-training in the gym; relationship problems; making your child support payments; caring for a sick loved one; dealing with a shitty work place environment or shitty boss; the food you eat; a disease; the list goes on. Mental, emotional, physical: they’re all in the same bucket.
So sometimes it’s just not worth it.
How do we cope?
We all need to learn to pick our battles, when walk away or remove ourselves from the stress entirely, and abruptly if necessary.
We all cope with stress in different ways: Some are passive like taking a nap and listening to music, some are productive like drawing or welding or hitting the gym, and some are destructive like binging on food or alcohol or using hard drugs.
In the past, I dealt with my stress by filling my face. It turns out that wasn’t really taking away any stress. All the food did was shift my focus to how tasty it was for enough time to send me to slumber-land. Yep, years in a cycle of destruction. Now I make blog posts.
This video is a different take on how we can manage the stress in our lives. How To Make Stress Your Friend by Kelly McGonigal.
“What we know for certain is that chasing meaning is better for your health than trying to avoid discomfort. So I would say that’s really the best way to make decisions. Go after what it is that creates meaning in your life and then trust yourself to handle the stress that follows.”Kelly McGonigal
There are hundreds of videos on YouTube when you search for Stress Management. This link will take you there.
That’s all for this post.
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