Peaceful people do things differently.
And here are 4 ways that you can too:
1. Peaceful people know their limits. They don’t overextend themselves beyond their comfort level. They know their limits with time, work, energy, eating, spending, drinking, entertaining. They practice balance in all things. They identify times of extra stress and adjust accordingly. So they are realistic about their expectations of themselves without judgement or self criticism.
2. Peaceful people set boundaries to stay within their limits. Not only do they know their limits, they can enforce their limits by setting boundaries. They can say “no”.
3. Peaceful people aren’t motivated by guilt or other people’s disapproval. They don’t try to “people please”. They know their own feelings and needs and can stay connected to these in times of stress. This is particularly true of family gatherings. Example: Debbie and her family always spent the holidays with her mother. However, this became an unspoken and rigid rule. Through therapy Debbie realized this rule was more of a burden than a joy. She wanted to make some changes. So one year for Thanksgiving she, her husband and their son went to the beach for a long weekend. This worked out beautifully. Her husband was able to unplug from his stressful 45+ hr per week job and they all enjoyed some much needed quality time together. When Debbie came back she was exhilarated vs. exhausted. And her mother spent time with her friends and had an enjoyable time as well. Sometimes we just get stuck in a rut and forget that we have choices.
4. Peaceful people know their priorities and freely set these. They don’t have unrealistic expectations that cause then to expend energy for things they feel aren’t important. Take the quick quiz below to identify your priorities. Imagine that you can freely choose based only on your preferences. You may not be able to break free from rituals or the preferences of others this year. But it is important to know what your priorities are. Many women, being caught up in making others happy, aren’t aware of the priorities for their own happiness.
Rate the following items from 0 – 10. 0 being not important and 10 being very important.
- Time with family.
- Special events such as concerts, plays, musicals, etc.
- Spiritual activities such as meditation, prayer, quiet time with God.
- Time for yourself to spend as you choose.
- Self care; diet, exercise, medical care if necessary.
- Time for friends and fun.
- Hobbies, sports, or leisure.
- Work and career.
- Creating special memories, taking photos, going on vacation, doing something different, etc.
- Children’s activities.
- Add your own personal options if not mentioned above.
Reviewing your scores will allow you to set your top three priorities. If you have a few items that tie, ask yourself which one feels more true for you. This is not an intellectual question but a feeling question. Use your intuition.
Once you have your priorities, begin to cut out activities, delegate tasks to others or brainstorm ways to get everything done without going crazy. Work with a friend who can help you overcome your blind spots. A blind spot is something you feel you have no control over and thus can’t change. Its a stuck point. Psychotherapy is very helpful to overcoming these stuck points.
If you have anxiety or chronic stress, call Margaret Ann at 972-768-4795 — or use our contact form — for an appointment to discuss your personal circumstances. Because Freedom from Anxiety is possible.
To your inner peace,
Margaret Ann Kellogg, LCSW