TL;DR: Sometimes upsetting or difficult things happen in life. Those events can lead to stress. Too much stress over a long period of time can lead to disease. Facts. So Aisha is eliminating unnecessary, self-inflicted stress for 50 days to see what effect that has on her health.
The Joyful Manifesto
I, Aisha Adkins, hereby declare a Joyous Manifesto. Beginning on Sunday, April 15, 2018 and ending on Thursday, May 31, 2018, I will abstain from Unnecessary Negative Influences (UNI). Unnecessary Negative Influences are defined as anything that is frivolous or trivial and does not support Aisha in her mission to lead a healthy, peaceful, joyful life.
Examples of UNI include, but are not limited to: non-urgent political developments; social media posts wherein poster complains about someone else’s political viewpoint, traffic, long lines at Wal-Mart, “annoying people,” misspelled names on Starbucks orders, other decidedly first-world problems; texts, emails, or phone calls that are prompted by; media steeped in misogyny, sexism, and gratuitous violence; texts, emails, phone calls, or in-person communication veiled in “venting sessions” or “prayer requests”; Facebook.
The negativity fast will coincide with a happiness binge wherein I will pursue people, experiences, environments, and activities that create, stimulate, and encourage joy.
Okay… But Like… Why?
You may be wondering things like Wait, wasn’t Lent last month? or How can you avoid negative stress? or Why… should I care?
All good questions. I’ll start from the top.
Lent began in February and ended on April 1st. I gave up sweets.
I cannot avoid all negative stress. A parent falls ill, a friend passes away, a job opportunity is missed. These are all life events that most humans experience at some point in their lives. Family caregivers like myself are under added stress as we navigate the difficult physical, mental, and emotional challenges associated with caregiving.
Most of these factors are unavoidable and far beyond my control. I have learned to accept that. However, I can control the media I consume, the people with whom I socialize, and how I choose to treat my body.
Prompted by a series of difficult events and correlating health challenges, I’ve decided to embark on a 50-day journey of mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual wellness and self-care. That means that I will do my best not intentionally engage in activities that cause me unnecessary stress and I will try to put forth extra effort into taking care of myself in a more holistic manner.
By doing simple things like removing the Facebook app from my phone, choosing only to socialize in ways I desire (rather than out of obligation or fear of missing out), following a reasonable exercise regimen, and consistent study of my Christian faith, I hope to come out on the other side a healthier, happier, less stressed, more joyful human being.
Maybe you care. Maybe you don’t. And that’s okay.