To Stress or not To Stress

Global warming depletes much of the polar bears’ icy habitat each year, forcing us to swim great distances to find food and shelter. Tragically, many bears and cubs don’t survive these journeys.  What can we do?

We can only do so much for ourselves, swim hard, eat well and rest when we can, but there is very little we can do about our environment.  We need your help.

So often, you humans waste time on tiny ice chips that don’t matter that you have little time and energy left to address the huge icebergs that do matter.  The next time you find yourself stressing and worrying about how someone hurt you or unlikely what-if scenarios, stop and take a moment to reflect on a real problem that is getting worse each minute – pollution and the depletion of earth’s resources.

To Stress or Not to Stress

Here are two questions to discern if a problem or situation is important enough to stress over.

  • Is this problem truly worth the emotional energy, time, finances or other resources that I am investing in it? Will this matter in 6 months or a year?  If so, how could it impact my life or the lives of others?
  • What aspects of this problem are truly within my control? This includes specific actions I can take, my ability to influence others to take actions or my ability to change my attitude about a situation.

When the Problem is not Worth the Stress

Let it go. Simply redirect your mind to focus on something else – PETS  😊 , laughter, children playing, flowers, trees, bubble baths, a delicious apple, the smell of burning leaves in Fall, good friends. If the nagging problem returns to your awareness, keep redirecting your attention.

Then, focus on a problem that is worth the stress.

When the Problem is Worth the Stress

Define the nature of the problem in detail along with the potential consequences and impacts.

If the problems in our environment are not addressed more effectively very soon, we will run out of landfill space, pollute our water, air, soil and habitats to the point that no species will survive.

Define the aspects of the problem that are within my control.

Choose to engage more in the mindfully green actions to REduce, RE-Use, Recycle, particularly items that are more problematic.  Narrow the context of the problem to a manageable size.  For example, I could choose to be more mindful about my use of single-use plastic water bottles.

Gather information

Listed below are informational websites on the specific problems associated with plastic water bottles. In the US, far more plastic bottles are discarded each year than we have the capacity to recycle.  Some estimates suggest that most of these water bottles end up in landfills or on the bottom of the ocean.

Brainstorm Options to Solve the Problem

Whenever possible, drink water from reusable containers at home, office or when out.  Encourage friends and family members to avoid using plastic bottles. Encourage local fast-food restaurants to serve beverages in reusable cups which can be returned. Organize a community event where attendees are encouraged to bring their own bottles and food vendors sell beverages in reusable cups to be collected and reused. Collect plastic bottles from others and find interesting reuses for them such as jewelry or decorations.

Choose an Action

Start with a plan to pursue one action on my list of brainstorming options.  For example, strive to only drink water and beverage from reusable containers. Buy the necessary beverage containers for travel, water filters for home, beverages in glass jars and other needed items.

Evaluate and Reassess

After a week, evaluate progress and adjust.  Pursue another goal when ready.

We polar bears thank you for hearing us out.  Please take more action before it’s too late.

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