“Chasing meaning is better for your health than trying to avoid discomfort” – Kelly McGonigal
Had you asked me merely 12 months ago what this statement meant, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you. The word “meaning” didn’t resonate with me other than to “mean” something else to others i.e. a wife, mother, employee, daughter, the lists goes on. Although it was still a great life and one of love,
The word ‘meaning’ didn’t resonate with me other than to ‘mean’ something else to others i.e. a wife, mother, employee, daughter, the lists goes on. Although it was still a great life and one of love, nurture, and care, it was a life of just living to get through each day, counting down until my daughter would be in bed or until the weekend. I was in a constant state of living in the future rather than being present in the moment.
It has been a short time between then and now and in hindsight I can tell you that it was one thing that drove this state of change, one thing that has only ever been seen as the enemy in our existence, stress.
The insidious condition that sends our bodies spiraling towards unhealthy states like we are facing up to a saber tooth tiger, making us decide if we are going to fight or flee. Blood pumping, heart pounding, breath heavy it is a response our body has to the simplest of adversities – traffic jams, increased work hours, financial pressures, toddler tantrums.
For me it was stress from returning to a job post maternity leave that was toxic, grappling with mothers guilt, managing house chores week in week out, loss of identity and alone time with my husband, did I mention guilt. Looking back now, as a new mother I was stressed a lot. I decided to channel this stress and rise up to the challenge and see this as an opportunity to make a change.
It could’ve been easy for me to just quit my job, change jobs or remain where I was but I always had a feeling deep inside of me that there was a reason for my passion to want to work and succeed in my working life.
So I took on the small business world and sought a life of meaning. I was introduced to the power of motivating others, having a purpose greater than my own and connecting with other like minded people in the community. It wasn’t until I started studying in this space that I was awakened to the power of using stress for good, for improved performance and seeing this as a positive challenge.
I absolutely believe that we can change our thoughts and beliefs around stress and use it for personal growth to help ourselves and others around us. Kelly McGonigal has spoken in her Ted Talk about the power of the cuddle hormone, Oxytocin. I mean the term cuddle hormone, sounds just as divine as it performs.
Oxytocin primes us to do things, it makes us seek and give support, strengthens human connection and relationships and as Kelly says through channeling this stress response it is giving us access to our heart by being compassionate and caring for others as well as rising to challenges. What’s not more motivating than that. Knowing that you are not only making a difference in your own life, but you are responding to stress by reaching out to others and putting your stress to good use.
Stress has invoked the ability to rise to any challenge that comes my way and rather than feeling discouraged by situations, I instantly look for opportunities to make it better and make improvements. There is no denying that we will always face stress in some shape or form in our life, its how we respond to it and manage it that will have the greatest impact on our life. I don’t like stress and I don’t like what it is doing to the wider community, but I do like that we can make small changes in our lives to better ourselves and nurture and give care to others.
About Your Guest Blogger – Natalie Moore is a mum of one, who has found her passion for motivating and empowering other women to live a healthy, happy and active life through her two small businesses Running Fit Box and Be Moore. She is a passionate runner and rises up to setting life changing goals and chasing dreams she only ever thought of as impossible. Through her workshops she loves inspiring women to Be More.