Can You Do Something About Stress?
Do you feel like your life is a series of unfortunate events causing stress and you don’t have any options to influence it except for running away? Would you like some tips on how to overcome stress?
If you find yourself leaning towards answering yes to the above questions, you are not alone. Many people feel that way. Let’s explore three misconceptions related to this issue here.
First misconception is that the only way to feel less stressed is to run away. In a discussion of friends, I heard one person saying “I need a vacation to deal with life but I can’t afford it.” Do you think that an expensive vacation is the only way to break the stress cycle and deal with life? Well, vacations do help to break the routine but they are not the only ways. Furthermore, you can’t take vacations all the time and they may or may not be affordable. Expensive vacations might not be a good example of how to overcome stress. There are other ways. Simple techniques that are available and accessible to you all the time can help you break the stress cycle and increase peace and joy in your life. What are these techniques? When you reflect, you will find that you already know many of them. You will find a systematic approach to these techniques in the book “Stress To Joy”.
The second misconception is that either we need to have full control on events or we are doomed. In today’s high demand society, you may feel the need to control everything and when things don’t go according to your desire, you may feel frustrated. You are right that you don’t have control on life circumstances but you do have influence. Now, am I just playing with words? No.There is a clear distinction between control and influence. Do you like gardening? Whether you do or not, have you ever noticed that a gardener has influence on choosing the right place to plant a seed based on it’s light needs and to give proper amount of water and fertilizer but he/she doesn’t have control on when the flower will bloom. Similarly, you have influence on your life circumstances by the choices you make every day even though you don’t have control on how the circumstances would unfold.
Many people have extreme viewpoints. The people with one extreme viewpoint will say that all the circumstances are outside your control so you cannot do anything about it. Just accept them. Some people accept their circumstances with bitterness. They carry anger and resentment in their heart. Others, accept their circumstances with hopelessness. The people with other extreme viewpoints say it is all your mistake. Everything that happens is your fault or the result of your wrongdoing. All is in your hands. When you have this extreme viewpoint, it may help or hurt you. You may feel good if you are able to change your circumstances but also bad because you feel that you caused the problem in the first place. If you are not able to change your circumstances, you feel that there is something wrong with you. Observing the confusion that gets created by these seemingly opposing extreme viewpoints, I am a proponent of a balanced viewpoint. There are some things that are outside your control and there are others that are consequences of your decisions. The best approach is to focus on what you can do to influence your situation and accept what is not in your control.
The third misconception is that all stress will disappear if you wait long enough. Sometimes, people wait until the stressors turn into major problems. For example when sleep or weight issues are not attended soon enough, they turn into physical or mental illnesses or make an existing illness worse like heart disease or depression. Some simple changes when made early enough can make a huge difference.
When you correct some of these misconceptions, you will find better ways to break your stress cycle without running away from them. Breaking the stress cycle regularly is crucial because if you don’t, you will be at risk of developing ill health. If you do take steps to address your stress in early stages, you will be able to enjoy your life fully and be the best you could be.
So, my response to the question in the beginning of this blog is that your life is not a series of unfortunate events causing stress but a series of challenges that are opportunities for bringing out the best in you. You don’t have to run away from them but transform them into opportunities for growth using simple tools. I have tried to collect many of these tools in the toolbox that forms my program and book “Stress To Joy.” I suggest that you explore these tools from wherever you find. Use what makes sense to you and leave what doesn’t but take steps before your stress changes into illness.
If you like this post, let me know and share it with others who may also benefit. Please let me know what helped you the most?
Have a smiley day.
To your Health and Happiness,
All comments will appear after moderator review. The tools and techniques I teach have proven to be highly successful for improving emotional, mental, and physical balance, but they are not intended to replace treatments prescribed by licensed medical or mental health professional.