One of the things I find myself saying on repeat to my clients is “Your body and brain only have so many resources.” I tell them this when they are trying to fight off a cold or bug and want to train anyway. I tell them this when they are really stressed and want to go hard in the gym over and over. Actually it comes up in conversation a lot. You may not have thought about it, but being constantly annoyed by something is actually zapping your body’s resources too.
Have you ever gotten a stain on your favorite shirt, or found a hole in the pair of pants that fit you just right? Every time you think about wearing this item and remember that it’s not perfect, you cause your body a momentary bit of stress. Or worse, you don’t remember the flaw in your clothing, and wear it anyway. Then you’re out in public and discover it, and eeeeek— even more stress. Sure, you’re probably only raising your cortisol (stress hormone) level a little bit, but think about how many things annoy you or stress you over the course of the day. The effect is cumulative, and as I’ve said in a previous Post, stress can absolutely keep you from achieving your body goals.
But there’s also the fact that having too many small annoyances that get in your face on a regular basis also contribute to your life feeling out of control. Here again, I’m not a psychologist, but I’ve lived it. Errrr… truth: I’m still living some of it. For example, it irritates the beejeezies out of me to have a messy car. (And my Dad tried– he’s explained to me that cars have feelings. He’s a car guy, and I’m certain he is cringing as he reads this.) But my life requires lots of bags (camera bag, gym bag, computer bag, lunch bag, etc) and I frequently feel like I spend so much time in my car that I might as well live there. Some days, I wear as many as four sets of clothes (and 4 pairs of shoes) ranging anywhere from professional clothes that I wear to Rotary, to work clothes that I wear as a contractors assistant, to gym clothes and occasionally normal clothes. These inevitably wind up in my car as I feel like I run around shouting “Costume Change!” during the day. I should get these things out of my car every night, but it’s often late when I get home, and very cold as I have no garage and live in the mountains. After a long day, I’m just ready to be done. But then the morning comes, and I head out to my car, armed with a positive attitude and ready to take on the day. And wham-o. The annoyance factor. Suddenly my mood is just a little less chipper.
In order to keep myself sane-ish, if I get to come home during the day, I try to round up everything that doesn’t belong there. When I’m able to do this, life feels much brighter and handle-able. This one small thing makes a big difference to me (and probably to anyone who has to deal with me.)
What’s one thing that you can get off your radar today? What will the payoff be if you do?
You have enough stress! Fix small annoyances so at least those are off your radar. Today is a great day to do better!