We seldom think that a squeaky wheel is a gift. Yet frequently it is.

When the noise becomes sufficiently loud and irritating, we normally decide to find the cause and fix it. Following inspection and the problem being resolved, we may learn that the incredibly annoying squeak actually saved our life because a wheel was about to fall off. Then we are supremely grateful.

Stress is very similar. We may become agitated or lose our energy, be unable to sleep properly, get headaches or digestive problems. Yet we keep on keeping on, hoping the symptoms will go away. But they don’t. They gradually get worse. Something needs to change.

Often our minds get in the way. We look at family, friends or colleagues. We see them coping with similar situations to the ones we are facing and we tell ourselves that we should be able to cope too. We forget that we’re unable to see into the deepest workings of their hearts and bodies. They may feel depressed, have heart problems or pop countless medications to get through the day. On the other hand, they may live with a completely different set of beliefs, life experiences and behaviours and be relatively unscathed by issues that we find challenging and stressful.

There will always be challenges and potentially stressful situations. How we meet them is the key. Do we feel weak or victimized? Do we tell ourselves that life is unfair and so why bother? Do we want to fight the world? Or do we decide that we can handle it, we will find a way and everything will work out for the best?

By listening to our own “inner squeak”, in the guise of mental, emotional or physical problems, we can choose to direct our attention to easing those problems. Then we can look at the stressful issues and find ways to rearrange how we think about and handle them. We can choose to continuously nourish and nurture ourselves, imagine feeling calm, energized and in the flow of life, and being stronger and wiser from our experiences.

With love,

Just as we develop our physical muscles through overcoming opposition – such as lifting weights – we develop our character muscles by overcoming challenges and adversity. Stephen Covey.

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