You’re up and you’re down

iCAP Services logoLast weekend, I was entertaining friends who had stopped by the house for a coffee and a catch up.

Once we settled down into our comfortable banter, the conversation soon turned to their latest mountain biking adventure where they described in detail the terrain and effort needed to complete the course.

The route included steep uphills where some of the group dismounted and walked their bikes up the sloped terrain. These uphills were mercifully followed by relatively flat yet uneven sprints and the downhill runs allowed for some respite and an opportunity to ease the pain in each participant’s legs.

However, the final downhill run to conclude the day was described as ‘scary and really steep’ and included tight hairpin bends on a loose rocky surface causing one of the riders to exercise caution and dismount for safety.

As I sat with the images they described, I realised they were also describing how people may approach the art of coping with what each day may bring.

While waiting for life to happen, you are presented with ups and downs each day.

Your approach to health issues, goals, financial difficulties, family problems, work stress and school reports determines how steep these challenges appear and the effort needed to get on top of them.

Do you persist and pedal all the way up, or do you get off and approach these challenges slowly and carefully, taking a rest when needed?

Do you ask for help to get over the hill?

When life is moving along at an even pace, you still have to negotiate little bumps and divots along the way that are, for the most part, manageable but still need your attention to keep your wellbeing in tact.

Consider how much energy you put into everyday events you can’t control or change. These may be unforseen disruptions to family routine or disagreements, work negotiations, social commitments.

What’s your mindset when approaching these events? Do you stress about them or realise that there is nothing you can do to change the outcome and let the anxiety go, concentrating instead on the path you can manage?

Image of Leunig cartoon from 2010 calendar

Image courtesy of Leunig from 2010 calendar

And what might your downhill runs mean for you?

Is it finally reaping the benefits of having made it through the tough times and now enjoying an easy run? Or is it a downhill slide into unsighted hairpin bends and loose, gravely surface that can derail your journey?

How do you approach these? Do you ride the momentum into a result you may not be able to control or do you get off and slowly approach the hazards working out how to best navigate them?

Take some time today to sense where your life is right now and how you are travelling.

Are you up or are you down?

Tina Pitsiavas is a Counsellor and Psychotherapist in private practice in Wollongong and Sydney.

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  1. Good thought provoking artice.It’s true we cannot control the ups or downs of our life but what we can control is how we choose to handle them.

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