We have to accept our stress

If we start from the premise that “life is a wonderful thing but it could also turn into hell if we’re not careful”, then it quickly becomes clear why stress, in turn, can be just as wonderful or fatal. It’s the difficult situations that drive people to work hard to overcome them and get the results they set out to achieve. Let’s think about the first date with a girl or a guy, how did it feel, was it calm, no for sure. Did you think: will he come or won’t he come, will I be clumsy?

Challenge is also something else. Challenges even seemingly simple, such as finding time to do something you enjoy (a walk, meeting up with friends). In this case, the challenge is to do something you enjoy, for the sake of doing it, to achieve immediate goals, to get pleasure or to have fun. Leisure outside of work is one of the best predictors of well-being, and fun positively influences couple relationships and social life, which are also key indices of well-being.

It is an invitation to people to prefer experiences to passivity determined by comforts (“Why should I go out, struggle, when I can be so comfortable on the sofa watching TV”), to do rather than to have (“but if I buy that electronic device that makes me lose weight while sitting, why should I follow a diet and go to the gym?”).

These ideas are not new!!!

Benjamin Franklin, an 18th century scientist and politician, argued that teaching a young man to shave and keep his razor sharp would contribute far more to his happiness than giving him 1,000 guineas to squander. Money would have left only remorse. Whereas knowing how to shave frees a man from the harassment of the barber, his sometimes dirty fingers, offending breaths, and unsharp razors.

Taking on this new way of thinking is about taking care of oneself, it means paying attention not so much to the grandeur of the changes we might achieve after a year and at the cost of great sacrifice. Generally, setting long-term goals indicates more than anything else the person’s aspiration to achieve a certain ambitious result, but precisely because one is at the same time aware of the commitment to achieve it can be perceived as unattainable. On the contrary, one must think in terms of weekly and attainable goals.

The defenses that a person can raise to avoid taking care of themselves can be described as follows:

  1. Thinking it’s always been this way - Some people tell themselves “I’ve always been chubby, sure I’m a little chubbier now than I was before the pandemic, but how can you say no to a nice plate of pasta.” This approach indicates that the person believes he or she cannot improve his or her life because he or she has always had that problem, i.e. being overweight, and thus comes to the conclusion that there is nothing to be done. This explanation also comes to justify determine psychological characteristics: “He does not like to be alone, but even as a boy he was afraid of the dark, the light kept him company.” In these cases, the memory of the past is used to affirm the impossibility of change. It is confirmed in people’s heads that it is the past, against which nothing can be done, that guides the present and determines choices for the future.
  2. Thinking that change is not important - Others say: “I’ll lose weight, do sports or go out more with friends, but what do I gain? I’m fine as I am, I live my life, I don’t have a disease, I work, no one complains. Why should I change when I feel so good in front of the TV.” In this case, those who support this way of life are not at all aware of the damage that a sedentary life creates and only perceive the discomfort derived from engaging in activities other than the usual ones.
  3. Thinking that there is always something more important to do - Still others are convinced that “It would be nice to have time to devote to myself, but that’s how life goes, always running never a minute for you.” Compared to the unaware, these people would have the intention to change their lives in some way but feel that they do not have the right to do so as this desire of theirs comes last.
  4. Thinking that one will not be able to continue - Some others are convinced “I will never have the patience and perseverance to follow a training program, I have tried it before and always quit.” Thus, negative experiences of quitting result in a condition of insecurity, which in turn keeps the individual within their unsatisfactory way of life.
  5. Feeling ridiculous in front of others - Finally, it is possible to think that ” In the gym I feel ridiculous because everyone is dressed better and better than me” or “I should first find an instructor who explains well what I have to do, who does the simple things, then, maybe. I could do them among the others and then I am no longer young and the suit gets bigger.” This diminished acceptance of one’s physique and current fitness does not help one fit into a group, feel comfortable. One would want to achieve acceptable form first and then participate in group classes.

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