When you’re experiencing high levels of stress, it can be hard to find the motivation to do anything. Your thoughts turn to giving up, and you start thinking about what would happen if you just stopped trying.
The words “stress” and “passion” make for a rather unlikely pairing.
In fact, many people think of passion as something that happens when you’re at your happiest and most relaxed. But the truth is that passion can be present no matter what’s going on in your life. Passion can be present at any given moment—even when you’re under extreme stress.
Here’s the thing: if you have goals to achieve, you can’t stop trying—not if you want to succeed. And if you do want to succeed, then here are four tips for making sure that your passion doesn’t go out with the bathwater when stress takes over:
When you’re stressed out and overwhelmed, it’s easy to focus on everything that’s going wrong instead of all the good things that are happening around you. But when things aren’t going well in your life, remember that they don’t have to stay this way forever—you can make changes. Even if it’s just small changes like taking a break from work every couple of hours or getting enough sleep at night. Those little steps add up over time and help keep your mind clear while increasing productivity overall.
When our ideas aren’t being valued by others, it can be tempting to shut down and withdraw into ourselves. This high level of stress makes it more difficult to stay passionate, so the support of others can really make a difference to your mindset. Be open and honest with those around you so that you can get the support you need to be able to revive your passions again.
When we’re experiencing high levels of stress, our breath tends to come in short gasps that only make us more tense. Instead of taking shallow breaths or holding them altogether (both of which are bad ideas), focus on breathing deeply and slowly. In through the nose and out through the mouth, just like meditation teachers always say. It might not seem like much at first, but this simple act can help calm down even the most anxious people out there. The out-breath is the one that calms the nervous system, so ensure you’re fully exhaling.
Whilst this might seem counterintuitive when you’re feeling high levels of stress, you’ll be surprised at how effective taking action can be especially when your passion is waning. Trust yourself to just do something, no matter how small it is and you’ll soon find yourself back in the swing of things.
Stopping completely is what will lead to less productivity, creativity and happiness, so when in doubt, take action!
“Passion” is a word we hear tossed around a lot, but what does it really mean?
Is passion something you feel, or is it something you do? Perhaps it’s a feeling of excitement that makes you want to do things even when they’re hard? Or is it an action—a choice, even—that feels like the right thing to do when you’re faced with a challenge?
I’ve been thinking about these questions a lot lately and keep coming back to the same conclusion. We need to live our lives with more intention. From paying your bills to enjoying a hobby, when we’re intentional with our time and efforts, it’ll be much easier to feel passionate about our lives and be able to manage our stress levels better.
Getting enough sleep and having hobbies really do contribute to better mental wellbeing and building resilience. Have a think about your passions, your purpose and whether you’re being intentional with your daily actions. Sometimes, a little but of reflection can show you that it’s time to get off the hamster wheel and do something better for yourself.
Puja McClymont – certified coach, wisdom teacher, speaker and host of the SELF Care 101 podcast.
As a life and leadership coach, I help mission-driven individuals who are seeking direction, to gain clarity, by expanding their inner awareness through the ancient wisdom teachings of Ayurveda and Yoga; so that they can lead more purposeful and fulfilling lives.
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