Darkness... suddenly a big thump and horns honking. I open my eyes and I've just bumped my car into the one in front of me at the traffic lights. If there was ever a wake up call, this was it. Stress works in this way, it builds up, starts boiling inside you and then it hits. For me it was blackouts for others it's worse. It has been almost 10 years since my last blackout and I owe it all to two words “letting go”.
10 years ago I was testing my limits. I was studying full time at university while juggling two jobs at the opposite sides of town. Constant working, studying, driving, road rage and a continuing sense of drowning was my norm. After a few months of constant stress the blackouts started. Some were mild and some were strong but they all happened while I was in the safety of a chair or sofa. Then the car crash happened. I was lucky to walk away without even a bruise but I knew if I kept going something worse was going to happen.
My doctor directed me to a neurologist to talk about the problems I was having. My blackouts along with tremors and other symptoms could be something larger so he wanted to get an expert's opinion. After telling my story the neurologist looked at me and said in a calm voice, “You know, you have to let go. Stop stressing so much about everything”. I never thought the answer to my problems was going to be so simple but I had to give it a go.
I started with small steps. I would remove things that were stressful and not care about everyday nuances that would usually drive me to the edge. This daily assessment of my life became a cathartic process. For the first time I was looking at my everyday life and routine with a microscope. I started living in the present. There were no worries about how small and trivial things would affect my life in the future. If I had done my best and things didn't go as planned, then I had to accept my failure and move on. This daily practice continued for months, turning me from a neurotic bundle of stress to a conscious and mindful human being living in the present.
It's been 10 years since my last blackout and I never thought the answer to my problems would be so simple. If you're battling with stress the same way that I did then please let it go. I know your primitive mind is not letting you but try to shut it up. Live in the present and let go.
Harry Mylonadis is advocate of simplicity in branding, design and every day life. His troubled past has helped him realize that the present is all we have, so we better make the most of it. Connect with him here.
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