Serenity: The state of being calm, peaceful, and untroubled.
I have been thinking about serenity without even thinking about the particular word. In other words, I have been thinking about what I do that is contributing to my stress and anxiety and robbing me the bliss of serenity. Now, obviously, every second of my life is not going to be filled with serenity. Stuff happens, people get stressed out, and I have an anxiety disorder. I am talking about the actions and decisions in my life I could easily stop or change. So, what are they?
- Going on social media first thing in the morning. Look, sometimes I need to go on the internet in the morning if I forgot something for a lesson or I want to blog or work on homework (gotta find the time somehow). What isn't good for me is grabbing my phone as soon as I wake up and scrolling Facebook or Twitter. The main culprit of my stress is social media. So, I have vowed to not go on it until I am at least on the second bus to work.
- Giving my time to people who obviously don't care. I have tried the whole, "kill them with kindness." I brightly say hello to someone who I know isn't too fond of me. Usually, I get a mumbled hello back. I've tried having conversations with this person and it always seems stressed and forced. You know what? I'm done. I'm not going to continue to give energy to someone who feels so negative towards me. I'm not going to be mean to them, but I'm not going to go out of my way to be nice.
- Debating things I have a solid opinion on. I'm done debating about gun violence, racism, sexism. You're not going to change my mind and I'm probably not going to change yours. If you're someone who is interested in hearing my side or learning more, that's different. But I'm honestly tired of, "well what would you change?" I've stated my stance multiple times. Right now I'm only interested in action.
- Pretending I know something I don't. I love football, I love the Packers, but I really couldn't tell you all the different plays, calls, penalties (though I usually know them, just can't recognize them when they happen most of the time). I will do quick research so I am able to seem like I know what I am talking about. I don't care about Basketball at all, but I will look stuff up on the internet so I can shoot off random texts to my Brother-in-law. I pretend I have knowledge of stuff I don't, and not only that but I seek knowledge in stuff I really don't care about. And you know what happens? I get stressed, I get overwhelmed. I don't even need to seek it in stuff I care about. I love baseball, but it's not worth getting stressed out over learning the names of every single player on the Sox roster. When I'm discussing something in a debate, I will try to sound smarter than I am by doing half-assed research, and spout off facts I learned 2 minutes ago. No more, I focus on what I know and be proud of it.
- Dwelling or focusing on something I know is going to stress me up or upset me. My credit card balance is going to stay the same no matter how much I look at it. I know it's going to get paid off. I don't have to keep staring at it. The more I stare at a body part the more it's going to become warped in my head and the angrier and stress I am going to get.
All of these are things that are contributing to my stress level, and they are things I can stop. Will I be perfect and quit cold turkey, never doing them again? No, it takes time and I know I will stumble, but with everything it takes practice...and some serenity.