Sanity Above All: Putting Yourself Before Your Stress

September 12, 2013  |  

Those 24-hour days beg for a few more, in order to cater to our back-breaking list of duties, obligations and responsibilities. The lives that we lead are busy and complex. Most of us are so caught up in the fray that we don’t take the time to eat properly, keep our homes tidy, exercise our exhausted bodies, or tend to our mental health. The simple fact is that the complete 24 hours of living, nonstop media consumption, and constant interactions with others –particularly negative interactions, can be dangerous to us. The mind, unique in its ability to cope, adapt, thrive and surprise, still needs positive conditioning even in spite of its miraculous nature. The ingestion of stress, hard living, mistreatment and sleep deprivation can cause the mind to shatter or break – evident when people have breakdowns that others slowly saw coming.

Some advice: choose sanity above all else. Switch off the television, computer, or cell phone; dump your hostile significant other; distance yourself from your gossipy co-worker; cut your work hours when they’re well above the required amount; move to a home that has less maintenance; hire a babysitter for some alone time; read a book; take a vacation; listen to a new artist; become an artist; eat new food; feed your soul; write a poem; write a song; go to the beach–basically, make some time for yourself. This concept isn’t about irresponsibility but about examining the things that we decide are most important in our lives, the things that we’ve decided to deposit most of our energy in –which are usually things that are a bit disabling. Tending to these seemingly important matters will means nothing if it becomes detrimental to your health.

The effect of stress on our sanity and even our physical health is unbelievable –heart attacks, strokes, etc. Anxiety, lack of sleep, and anything in the surrounding category affects our immune system, leaving us exposed and vulnerable to diseases and viruses. Stress also makes vices such as alcoholism, drug abuse, and other risky behaviors more attractive, seen as a relief to the pressures in our lives. Placing sanity above all other obligations is a lifestyle choice, one that can mean the difference between life and death for some. Introducing mind and heart healthy habits are beneficial (i.e., taking a few extra moments out of our day to take a break when feeling overwhelmed). Decide that it’s important for your health to put some of the “big” things that trouble you on the backburner, even if it means that you’re spending a little less time being social or taking care of business. Obligations will always be there, why not take the time to take care of yourself so that every waking moment isn’t filled with anxiety?

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