One of life's pressures for some of us is to try and change who we are according to what our family, friends, professionals, society or others say that we should do. This can cause anxiety and stress in our lives when we believe that we are not conforming to the expectations of others.
Sure, it's good to be fit, it's good to be mindful of what we eat, it's good not to smoke, it's good to avoid too much alcohol, it's good to have a work/life balance, it's good to keep our minds occupied, and it's good to conform to norms when appropriate.
The problem that some of us have is that we spend far too much time trying to change ourselves, trying to follow a strict regime, trying to get the work/life balance right, trying to conform to what others suggest of us. And this simply increases our stress levels as we try to meet those expectations, expectations of others and of our self.
A classic pressure that we put ourselves under relates to our physical health - we are told that we need to eat right, drink right, smoke less, eat less, exercise more, the list goes on. Yes, these are all good things to consider, but so is your mental health.
Striving to do all of the aforementioned suggestions places us under pressure, pressure that can easily turn to anxiety and stress if we believe we aren't meeting those expectations.
Our brains are wired in such a way that it is often difficult to make changes in our lives because what we want to change is deeply ingrained in or brain. It takes to sixty (60) to eighty (80) days to change a habit. Just one, single, solitary habit.
To reduce this tension that goes on inside of our heads, choose just one thing that you want to change in your life, something that will make a real difference to you, something that you want dearly to achieve. Then, focus on that single thing for eighty days minimum. When this new habit has become instinctive, i.e. a habit you no longer have to think about, pick just one more thing to change.
Over a year, you shouldn't try to change more than three habits, your brain won't like it. If you try to change too much at once your brain will become overloaded and will resist the changes. A conflict will occur inside your head, your brain will begin fighting with your mind, arguing about what is the right thing to do.
Each of us is very different, and that is what makes the world an interesting place. Relax, there is no such thing as the ultimate person.
While it is very important to look after ourselves, and I am an advocate that you should do the right thing as much as you can for your health, don't stress if you aren't or can't.
Be yourself, there is only one of you, you are unique, you are special.