Now I know you may be thinking, “Well why would I want to deny my imagination?” and that’s not what I am alluding to here. What I mean by stating that one will relieve stress by denying fantasy is that one will relieve stress by denying themselves the opportunity to believe in things which have no realness. The connection here is that in the world around us, we are plagued by expectation. Now fantasy, like expectation can often provide us with a set of ideals that may or may not come true. When we expect someone to be a certain way, act a certain way, or provide us with something in which they cannot, we become angry and disappointed. By being stuck within these rigid lines of expectation, we become majorly stressed when things are not the way they should be or the way we think they should be. In order to break away from this, I have compiled together a list of four things in which we can use to relieve our stress.
1. Be Open to Possibility: By believing in the expectations that are thrusted upon us, we are forced into thinking that we can control future events, or be able to map out how the future should relatively go. However, this is not the case, and very rarely happens. One must realize and be open to the fact that the world is always in flux and that those things that we may want today, has a good chance of changing tomorrow. By being open to possibilities in our lives, we will be better able to cope with the changes that come along.
2. Be Aware: Meaning every time you catch yourself falling into the expectations and the hardships of life, stop and let go of them. Often times we get stuck in expecting someone to act a certain way, or live a certain way, and by demanding this of them we create tension and stress. The best way to relieve this type of stress is to become aware of these expectations and then let them go.
3. Filter Out the Good and Bad: Meaning filter out the notion that everything must be a good event or a bad event. Of course there are going to be good things such as getting married or bad things such as losing a pet or a home. But if we continually look at things in either a bad or good light, then we will start stressing ourselves out when we do not have enough of the ‘good’. Thus if we can learn to be more neutral when events happen, then our well being may not be so lost in the judgement of whether an event was bad or good. The idea of life is to enjoy it, and recognize that bad things will happen but so will good, and constantly filtering every event by this can be detrimental to the events themselves.
4. Don’t need the ideals: A lot of the time our unhappiness comes from needing or expecting that something external is going to provide us with the happiness that we seek. By believing that we need a kick ass career or well behaved children will bring us happiness is a silly notion, yet these are things that people often want. By holding closely onto these ideals that may or may not happen, we often lead ourselves down the path of disappointment. Choose to live your life in the reality that it is and allow yourself to be happy, and if you are not then check in to see if you are holding onto too many ideals. If you are, learn to let them go and watch as your happiness will multiply.
The key to relieving your stress to let go of the expectations that control your life, and let go of the expectations that you believe other people need to live up to. By living a more unrestrained, carefree reality, you will find that the expectations that you desire will no longer be expectations but rather choices that you make.