The Big Picture in Life


We are inundated with numerous stressors in our adult lives – jobs stress, financial stress, relationship stress – the list goes on and on. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but it’s not going away, and it doesn’t seem to be getting better. Stress, fear and anxiety are all parts of life. But they don’t have to rule or run our lives. 

As I’ve talked about many times before on this platform, there is both a physical and mental component to dealing with stress and anxiety. And it is all about tackling it head on. Leaning into the challenge. Embracing a can do, growth mindset. Facing your fears. Moving your body. Physically inducing good stress into your life to help generate those feel good and motivational chemicals in the brain and body like adrenaline and dopamine.  

In addition to the mental component of leaning into the stress, embracing it as a normal part of your biology and life, there is another very important mindset. And it is this: remember the big picture. So much of our stress and anxiety comes from materialistic things and concerns: money, power, fame, keeping up with the joneses. 

Obviously, there are very warranted concerns relating to money like providing for our families, putting our kids through school, paying our bills and navigating the basic necessities of life. 

But the big picture is this: what truly matters is the impact you have in the lives of others. How much beauty and love you bring to the people in your life. And that doesn’t cost a thing. 

All of the materialistic pleasures, the keeping up with the Jones, the desires for power, influence and control lead to nothing in the end. They are fleeting pleasures. 

What Ultimately Matters

What ultimately matters is how purposeful you are in bettering the lives of others. How you use your uniqueness to create love and beauty – which aren’t materialistic in nature. 

And as far as the normal stressors of life, like providing for your family, lean into those stressors and challenges. Remember that growth mindset and engaging the prefrontal cortex I’ve talked about at length. Utilize greater logic and rationality in your thinking. 

If it’s money you are stressing over, you can absolutely find additional streams of income. You can find a higher paying job. You can utilize or grow your network to find better opportunities to provide even more for your family. And then once you do, you can use that to generate even greater beauty and love in the lives of your family. 

So, when you’re stressed to the gills, realize that’s part of life, it’s not going away but it doesn’t have to. It doesn’t have to affect you negatively. It’s your emotional limbic system doing it’s job. It’s trying to keep you alert, alive and safe. 

But you also have a rational cortex and can control fear and anxiety. So use it! Lean into the stress. Embrace it. Think about the big picture and focus on what’s most important in life.

And don’t forget to ask for help. Don’t hold it in. Talk to someone. Strategize with them. No matter what it is that’s bothering you, there is a solution. You can improve your outlook on that situation, first and foremost, but also improve the situation as well. But it first starts with leaning into and activating that logical, rational part of your brain.

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