Stress = Reality Vs Fantasy

Random thought of the morning: we get stressed and unhappy when the fantasy in our minds doesn’t align with our reality.

In our day-to-day lives we hold so many expectations and often don’t allow for any wiggle space, everything must happen exactly how we want it to, when exactly we want it to.

The plan was for me to have a new job by 1st October and it’s now the 7th…ugh, I’m so stressed! The weather forecast said that it would be dry today, so I left my umbrella at home and it’s not stopped raining all morning, great! We’ve been house-hunting for over a year now, why the hell is this taking so long?! I wanted to have a chilled-out weekend, but now we have guests coming over to stay…why?! I was meant to be married and settled down by now, but I’m 29 and still very single, when will it be my turn?! All of my trains have been delayed/cancelled, I’ll miss my morning meeting, why is this happening to me?! I said I’d make chicken curry for our family dinner in an hour, but two people have just messaged saying they’re vegetarians, now what will I do?!

I think what we need to realise is that the universe doesn’t exist just to please us, it doesn’t operate like that. Shouldn’t we just have the mindset that life is going to happen as it’s going to, we just need to take everything with a pinch of salt and work hard to become chameleons, to be adaptable, so that we’re able to go with the flow to the best of our abilities?

Well that’s the mindset I’m trying to adopt any way. I’m bored of getting bogged down by little things every day, it drains my energy getting so irritated, and I want to protect my energy at all costs, it’s precious!

About a month ago I accidentally sliced a vein in my wrist whilst opening a photo frame (don’t ask!) and obviously proceeded to run around crying like a headless chicken, begging for sympathy from anyone I could find. But once I’d stopped feeling so sorry for myself, I realised it could’ve been so much worse, I could’ve really hurt myself. All I’ve been left with is an ugly scar, but if I think that the alternative could’ve been me bleeding to death, the scar doesn’t seem so bad. Now whenever I look down at it, I’m reminded of how lucky I am.

And I’m trying to extend that way of thinking to every day set-backs that I incur. For example, whenever little annoying things like train delays happen, and trust me they happen often, I like to think that it was just a minor inconvenience and I was actually being protected from an incident that could’ve been much more serious. I just wasn’t meant to be at said place at the time that I thought I should be. So instead of being irritated, I try to train my brain to be thankful instead (I’m definitely not saying this is easy, especially not when I’m hangry, but it is achievable if you really try). I tell myself that I might not have got to where I wanted to be at the precise time that I envisioned, but on the bright side, I now get extra time to read my book, or listen to a podcast, or call a friend and catchup on life. So all in all, have I really been inconvenienced?

I think that kind of mindset is key in order to remain calm and be able to bounce back from the never-ending punches that life will always throw at us. As Charles Darwin famously once said: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent; it is the one most adaptable to change.” Personally, I think he was on to something…

10 replies

  1. Another good plan of yours. As for missing that train, I think of the movie Sliding Doors. We usually end up where we’re supposed to be regardless of whether we catch that particular train or not.

  2. If I was in a perfect world I wouldn’t be on thin ice at work, I would be in a relationship and going to couples diners with friends and not feel like a third wheel, be part of social groups that didn’t kneel over when I joked about sucicide, self harm and other depression related subjects

    But years down the line nothing has come to bear despite my trying; so though I agree that everything doesn’t happen according to our plan
    At what point do you have to call foul and ask; why can’t I have what I want? and is that a selfish question to ask?

  3. I can sympathise! Good post – though I would add that there is no reality actually. It’s all fantasy and getting through life is about dodging the ones you don’t like as much as possible and keeping the ones you do like when you can.

  4. I love this so much. I used to stress out all the time because life is not going the way I planned it would. I still stress about this sometimes but I’ve also realized that it’s great to make plans but you have to realize that often life gets in the way. And the plans we make for ourselves hardly ever turn out exactly as planned.

  5. Every single day we face these reality vs fantasy issue… the things like u mentioned train delays, job and lastly marriage happens with me as well.. at that point of time it feels like why in the world everything happens at same time.. but then I realize this time will pass and it did..
    as u mentioned at last the one who is adaptable to nature survives 👍👍

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