A lot of people ask me about how I deal with stressful situations. They ask me that question because I don’t ever seem to get too worried about anything. This is because I have a very good sense of where I’m going and what I have to go through to get there. A lot of people don’t have a plan, so they are at the mercy of whatever happens. Let me explain.
Many times in life we go through moments that are extremely stressful and difficult. The real test is to see if you can decide not to respond to those feelings. This begins by changing your mindset.
Being stressed out is normally caused by feeling or thinking that you have no control over the situation. This is the first lie your mind will think of to lead you to feeling stressed. It is important to remember that you are in control. You may not know the exact outcome (though you may if you choose to plan it) you can still create a possible outcome you would like to achieve. Here is an example.
There is a new person at work who you think doesn’t like you. You have talked to her a few times and it seems like you’re just not clicking. You could turn this into a stressful situation. You could tell all your friends and family outside of work how it stresses you out having to deal with the person and how you’re afraid of the implications this may cause in the work place.
It doesn’t have to be that way. You can make a conscious choice to not allow those thoughts and feelings to take control. Instead, create a plan of action that will begin to remedy the problem. Most people are pretty open to taking about something once the ice has been broken about the subject. Plan to take a break with the person and be straight forward with her.
You could talk about how she seems like a great person, you just feel that so far you two haven’t had a chance to connect yet. Talk about some of the things you and other coworkers do outside of work and invite her. The main point here is that instead of letting stress hold you back, you are working towards rectifying the situation.
This works in almost all areas of your life.
To relieve stress you must create a plan of action and follow through with it.
After you have started your plan, understand that Rome wasn’t built in a day, things take time. Allow for real expectations, not impossible ones. It’s like when people say they want to make 1 Million dollars in a year without doing anything! Let me tell you right now, it’s not gonna happen. Even if you win the lotto, you still have to play and that’s doing something.
Speaking of the lottery, I read a poll the other day that said something like 65% of Americans believe the lottery is a viable way to make money. What a country we live in!
Anyway, to close this short entry, I’ll say this. Stress is one of the leading causes of sickness in America, and it’s sad because it doesn’t have to be. We can make a choice to not feel stressed, though it does take time and practice to get to that point. Here’s a story for you.
I loaned my car out to my brother one night and he brought it back with a HUGE scratch down the whole right side. That’s what you get for letting an 18 year old use your car!!
I could have gotten upset, screamed, yelled, gotten stressed, but instead I just sort of nodded when he told me and asked him to be more careful. Well, I also told him he won’t be driving my car for a while. 🙂 I was able to stay calm because I had these thoughts running through my mind.
1) It’s only a car (at least no one was hurt)
2) This is why I pay $200 bucks plus for insurance.
3) What good will me being stressed out do?
It took me time to build up these neural pathways, but now that I have it sure is nice. When presented with what could be a stressful situation, I think the positive first, and then end up feeling ok about the whole thing.
So to recap, here are the steps when dealing with a potentially stressful situation:
1) Realize that you are in control of your feelings
2) Create a plan to correct the stress creator
3) Set realistic expectations for how long it will take to remedy the problem
4) Focus on the positive aspects of the situation and smile (smiling helps A LOT)