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  • Dr. Dane Donohue

Calm The Hell Down

I recently bought a travel coffee mug for my wife with the saying "Calm The Hell Down" but I think secretly it was for ME. Life is difficult, life is messy, and life is hard. It’s so easy to get worked up, to let the demands of life pile up and almost feel like life is suffocating you. I’ve been there and probably so have you.

When you’re caught up in the demands and responsibilities that life throws at you, it’s hard to juggle all those things at once. In fact, I tell my patients who are experiencing overwhelm and stress, “When you’re juggling all the balls of life, don’t drop the glass ones”. Those break and never are the same. Some things are just too important to screw up, your health, your important relationships, your finances, and your emotional and spiritual well-being.

The fact is, I use to be a spaz, worried and stressed a lot. I got worked up over things that either didn’t really matter. Or even if they did matter, my response was not going to help the situation but only make it worse. I can only imagine the undue stress I caused my wife years ago; she is a saint for putting up with me and trust me I’ve been trying to pay back my loan with interest. I was quick to anger and upset because I didn’t have peace or calm in my head, or in my heart back then. I also didn’t have the tools or understanding to cope with stress. I never learned them in school or from my parents. I’ve come to learn the truth about stress and how toxic it is when held on to. Like any toxin, it is best to get it out of your body and mind as soon as possible, and without hurting others. I learned from the preacher, Joyce Meyer, years ago, “Hurting people hurt people” and I did.

As part of growing up, we should teach our kids what emotions mean and how to deal with them. I never learned what it meant when I felt deep frustration about something. It could have been trying to put something together that was difficult, hitting a bad golf shot, a person who was irritating me, or a bill that had unexpectedly come that we didn’t have the money for. When I look back at the person I used to be, I think “Wow, that guy was on edge a lot”. When you’re on the edge, it doesn’t take a lot to push you over the edge. When you’re centered, you can get pushed towards the edge and not go over the edge. The key is to learn how to always be moving back to the center, so when life inevitably pushes you, you’re in a centered, stable frame of mind. I never learned this when I was young. However, I know it now and it’s been transformational in my relationships and in my life.

You have to know that stress will happen. Bad things will happen, and the shit will hit the fan almost on a regular basis. I don’t wish stressful things to happen in my life. I’m just realistic and know they will. When the stressful things show up, I just say to myself, “Ok, here it is, I was waiting for you”. I used to think, “Why does this always happen to me?”. Now I realize, it doesn’t just happen to me, it happens to all of us. So, step one is to accept that bad, and good things will happen on a regular basis. You just have to pray and consciously look for the good things but accept the bad things. You can pray for sunshine but you have to accept when it rains.

Second, you have to learn to “calm the hell down” when bad things happen. I’ve found that people make a bigger deal out of things than they really are. They create so much turmoil for themselves over things that will never happen. Even if things go bad, it may not be as bad, and ultimately may turn out to be good for you long term. Who determines what’s good and what’s bad? We do. Sometimes bad things happen that eventually we realize were a blessing. Maybe it forced you to learn, to change, to do things differently. If you changed for the better because of something bad, then maybe it wasn't so bad after all? There are so many examples of this that I see in my own life and in many other people’s lives.

Also, you have to know that stress will find you on a regular basis. Calm the hell down. Just do one thing at a time and do it well. Stop focusing on all the things you need to do and do one thing/the main thing/the important thing. Get it off of your plate. Stop obsessing about all the things you need to do. You can only breathe one breath at a time, and do one thing at a time. While we can only think one thought at a time, we can stack them up, one right after the other. However, we cannot do nearly as many things in a row. So, we think a lot more than we do a lot. Hence the saying, “the paralysis of analysis”.

Next week, I’ll talk about the things that I’ve learned and teach my patients when it comes to managing stress and hard times. Managing your emotions and the perception of what things mean is one of the most important lessons you can learn in life. The saying goes, “Learn to manage your emotions. The more emotional you are, the more hurt you get and the more hurt you give”.

Yours in good health,

Dr. Dane

Dr. Dane Donohue is a Chiropractor in Newtown PA and has been serving his community for over 25 years. Wellness Solution Centers provides all the services you need for a healthy life.

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