As you work towards becoming stronger and more resilient in areas of your life, it’s important that you remember O’Toole’s Law. Simply states, O’Toole’s Law says that Murphy was an optimist. If something can go wrong with Murphy’s Law, it will go ballistic with O’Toole’s! With that inescapable truth in mind, here are four areas where you will need to be particularly vigilant in the days ahead to ward off emotional exhaustion and stay strong.
Be alert to ordinary, expected life events. None of us can escape these. They are the stuff life is made of: high school, trade school, and college graduations, moving across the street or across the world, retiring, getting a promotion, making new friends, or trying to fit into a new neighborhood. Anticipate these events as best you can. If you do not have a plan to accept them in the normal course of living, any one of them could throw you for a loop.
Be alert to the probability of unexpected life events. These are the shocks and sorrows of life. The death of a spouse or a child; the tragedy of an automobile accident; getting a call in the middle of the night informing you your best friend has suffered a massive heart attack. These are really tough times. To be strong is to prepare yourself for these sudden events by building a strong foundation faith in God and in his ability to see you through. With God-based courage, you can face the ups and downs of life and remain strong. The hard times will not destroy you or drive you into prolonged depression and despair.
Be alert to ongoing events that can drive you crazy. These can be the everyday emotional killers — like the dog next store that barks endlessly, the ongoing skirmishes with a spouse, the quarrels with our kids. You may be caring for an aged parent who lingers on in poor health, sapping you financially and emotionally. It could be the sheer boredom with a career that’s going nowhere, pressures at work, or unresolved issues with an ex-spouse.
Events such as these tend to have a cumulative effect. If we do not recognize them and deal with them as emotionally health persons, they won’t be easily resolved. As they weigh us down, we may feel as if we’ve been ground down to almost nothing. Yet to accept the unacceptable with courage and good humor is one of the ways you can regain control of your life. In God’s strength you can be strong in even these most difficult daily situations.
Be alert to stress born of your own personality traits. Much of your stress is actually related to how you are wired. If you are a perfectionist, life is going to be stressful. In fact, it may border paralysis, with that feeling that you’re never quite up to par and continually comparing yourself to others. If you feel insecure, lack self-worth, and have an overwhelming sense that people are out to get you, you will often allow stress to get the better of you, and it invariably will steer you toward emotional exhaustion.
When, however, you learn to roll with the punches, laugh at our world, and not take yourself too seriously, then what are stressors to others will become little more than annoyances to you. Can you make huge changes in your personality? Probably not. That’s why your best solution is to know yourself, be aware of your challenges, and let life be your wise teacher as you anticipate future events.
If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, emotional exhaustion, anxiety or disordered eating, The Center • A Place of HOPE is here to help. Contact us today at 1-888-771-5166 and begin the healing process.