Hello Everyone and welcome back or if you are new reader thank you for the opportunity to see if I can help you in any way!
When we left Australia over four years ago I was a very different person to the one I am today. Living aboard and travelling around the world has changed me as a person. Now, I predominately spending the majority of my time with people who are older, more worldly and experienced than me.
Having the opportunity to live an Expat life and cut ties with people I needed to has enabled me to ‘find my true self’ without other people’s constant influence. Being in a sink or swim environment has been a massive learning journey which I’m truly grateful for, as this experience has allowed me the ability to grow. Most likely those who knew back when I lived in Australia, wouldn’t understand who I am now, today.
Since moving abroad I have started to understand who my real friends are vs the ones that ‘say’ they are. This valuable insight has helped me focus on those who matter and to let go of those who don’t, even though initially this was a hard and hurtful process. The other aspect I face is those who can’t accept I’ve changed and they try to pull me down, belittle me, make side comments and cause me emotional stress. There are times in my life when I’m glad I live abroad so I can distance myself from those negative, judgemental and jealous people. On the flip side, I miss my true friends but thankfully with all the modern technology, apps and social media it lessens that emotional stress.
On top of all of this, my health started to tanked since living in Singapore, I’ll be completely honest with you. My health journey issues I’ve been going through has lead me on the 'Big 3’ stresses quest which has enlightened me immensely. I have been fortunate to have the time to learn, study, read and investigate all my health issues (as there have been a few). I question doctors and specialists all the time in order to find answers. Been researching alternative healing and become interested in the functional medicine approach. This has allowed me to be more open minded and informed when it comes to the 'Big 3’ stresses and how it affects not only the body, but also the mind and soul.
I don’t profess to know everything however ironically now through my life experiences, learning, and inquisitive nature I can be talking to people and point out at least 3 of the 'Big 3’ stresses in their lives. If these people made some changes and adapted to a new improved way of dealing with their stress, their lives would improve immensely. Sadly, these are the people who laugh at me, make snide comments and talk about me behind my back.
I am a woman who understands stress due to the unorthodox life I’ve lead, and would best describe my time on this planet as ‘not one of a normal life’. I’ll admit I don’t have a ‘formal Uni degree’ but I have a decent amount of ‘life experiences’ in the stress department. I’ve been dealing with the 'Big 3’ stresses since the day I arrived into this world, I just didn’t know it.
Due to my inquisitive nature over the last 3.5 years, I’ve become to realise how the 'Big 3’ stresses cause me issues, and I now have the knowledge on how to address them (most of the time). I’m always wanting to learn and understand more about the 'Big 3’ because they surround us every day 24-7 in more ways than we realise. Therefore, the more I know, understand, live and learn the more I can share.
So at the end of the day, I help those along the way who want to listen to what I have to say. I can only help those who want to be helped but some people are so busy ‘being stressed’ they can’t be reasoned with because it’s like a crutch they use to tell people ‘their stressed’.
So what does the 'Big 3’ Stress Solutions Puzzle look like when it comes to What Character 32 has learned about Stress Management?
I seem to be one of the least stressed people I know (well most of the time) because I have spent so much time learning and understand how stress works. How do I do this? By surrounding myself with smarter people with more life experience than me, so I have the ability to learn and understand their thoughts. All of which can help me draw my own conclusions and allow me to expand my knowledge. Plus, there are the countless hours of my research and then what it really boils down to is living it, learning it and growing from it!
I ask people questions and try to surround myself with both like-minded people but also the ones who will challenge me, my thoughts and ‘what I think I know’. These conversations whether I agree with the person or not can still make me look at their point of view which might come in handy one day later on down the track. As Oscar Wilde said – “I don’t profess to know everything…I’m not young enough to think that!”
two examples of how I’ve have changed as a person when it comes to dealing with ‘stress’...
1. Anxiety and panic attacks
Anxiety and panic attacks are almost a thing of my past, however if I do get them now they don’t last for long (I’ll be blogging about how I deal/dealt with my anxiety/panic attack issues but that’s for another day, one thing at a time). This is because I now understand my body only reacts to stress when I put it under stress. I’ve been busy on my learning journey to help figure out how and what affects me and those around me. This has become my full time obsession and is something I’ve been passionate about for the last 3.5 years.
2. Moving overseas again/packing up my life and living out of suitcases for 5 months
The old me would be completely stressed over this move
The thought of packing up a house and sorting everything into categories of going into storage, what goes to charity, what gets put into suitcases and comes along and what goes to friend’s places to store for us, would have stressed me out (It did last time I had to do this type of move out of Australia!).
Then moving out of our apartment and checking into a hotel before my husband takes off to EU for a golfing week with the guys. I fly to Adelaide to drop off some of my things, pick up some of my things, then fly back to Singapore for a night. Then I fly out and meet my husband in Amsterdam and we make our way to Utrecht. We are living in and out of serviced apartments between Utrecht and London until December before we head back to Singapore for a few days. Then it’s off to Australia travelling between Adelaide, Sydney and the central coast over the Christmas/New Year period. That’s not to mention all the other travel we will be doing in Europe making the most of our time while we are there.
The old me would be stressed to my eyeballs! Normally cold soars would be upon me, I would be having ‘spaced out moments’ and anxiety would be in the mix somewhere. But like I said that’s the old me. That’s not to say I don’t get ‘stressed’ anymore, but if I do it’s only for a very short amount of time. Unlike the old me who would carry that ‘stress’ around and not move forward.
The new me can deal and cope with stress a lot better
My BFF asked me the other day how the move was going and when I was coming back to Adelaide. I said ‘Right now I haven’t even booked flights. I’m under pressure at the moment. Trying to live/move/pack/store between Singapore/Australia/Europe/London for the next 5 months = stress! I was ‘stressed’ trying to sort out insurance for my high value items which I couldn’t get insurance for and I had an endless list of things to get done with the apartment etc. Plus, I had just had a mole cut out of my neck limiting my movement, and causing me discomfort.
However, she reminded me ‘Don’t stress, you don’t stress anymore remember’. She was totally right it was just for those few brief hours I was ‘under pressure’ and it was causing me ‘stress’ (I’m still human!). However as soon as my BFF reminded me ‘I am the queen of this crap!’ (her words!) meaning I have moved over 25 times in my life, ‘I’ve done this before, lived out of suitcases between Singapore/Australia/Europe/London and the USA for 6 months and during that time were in New Jersey when Super Storm Sandy hit….so yes she was right and when I read her response I laughed my ass off! Which is exactly what I needed. It helped me refocus and get on with the task at hand…. Even my husband can’t believe how I am dealing with this move as ‘the new me’ is on fire! Which is great for him as it reduces his stress and means our relationship isn’t affected by this ‘stressful time’.
So my response to people who say ‘what do you know about stress management?
At the end of the day I’m one of the least stressed people I know, therefore I think I must be doing something right? My really close friends know I’ve changed and they ask me for advice all the time. I’ve become the ‘go to girl’ on most things, therefore I think I must know something about ‘stress management’? Trust me I am my own harshest critic and if I didn’t think I knew anything about ‘stress management’ I wouldn’t be blogging about it. But since this seems to be the direction my path in life has taken I now help people when I can, because I like to ‘pay it forward’.
Until next time be thoughtful, be mindful, be present. This is Character 32 doing her best to help you!