People often ask me how to deal with stress. And at first I was perplexed why so many people struggled to cope with stress. Personally, it’s never been an issue for me. I would go to my room or somewhere quiet and methodically work through the issue, until I had come to a resolution that eliminated the stress I felt.
So for a few weeks I carried that question around in my head and in every situation I had that thought pondering. I have found that in this way sooner or later, you come across a situation that gives you the key to unlock the puzzle.
What I realised was that my intitial confusion was well founded. You see, like most people I had got distracted by the whole stress management industry that has sprung up. It’s a little like that trick where there’s a coin hidden under one of three cups and you have to stay focused on watching the coin and not be distracted by the pantomine.
In much the same way, all the complex sounding techniques and the mysticism associated with biofeedback, meditation and all the other stuff make it seem that dealing with stress is too difficult for anyone without a PHD.
So anyway, as I was thinking this through, I noticed Babies getting upset and their Mother’s soothing them. I noticed children having tantrums and their Parents trying to restore them to balance. And I also noticed cantankerous, old people being placated by their Carer’s.
In the very young, the very old and in those we term ‘with special needs’ we do not think of their outbursts as being caused by stress. We look on them as being upset and it being within our ability to soothe them and restore them to calm.
But is it not the same process and dynamics as ourselves when we are stressed?
Sure, the content about what we are stressed is more complex and subtle. However the nature of stress is the same, throughout the human experience.
There is a range of emotions, from utterly depressed to being in rapturous bliss. The key is to move upwards as quickly as you can in manageable stepping stones.
When you are utterly depressed, you are lifeless, lacking in energy, belief and hope. It’s too big a jump to change all of these, but you can get angry about it. This will provide a shot of energy to get you moving.
Then you can direct your thoughts to understanding the causes and so moving from anger to frustration.
From the feeling of frustration, it is possible to begin to see what would make the situation better. ‘If only….’
One step away, is the thought, ‘What if we could…’
Then you have found a focus for your energy, a path to pursue along with hope and if you keep the momentum up, you can then be moving to much more positive emotions.
It’s really the same process that a Mother goes through in soothing her Baby. Is the Baby hungry? Check the nappy. Cuddle the Baby. Rock the Baby. Distract her with toys. Parents do whatever it takes to move the Baby to a happier state.
And that is really the same process we have to use in dealing with stress. Sometimes the problem is simple to notice and fix. Obviously then, you just fix it. But often there’s nothing you can do. So sometimes you need to think it through. But you may have the cognitive or energy to face up to it in these moments. And so that’s when you want to use stress relief tactics, like watching a film, having a hot bath or a massage, to relax and ease yourself so that you can rest and come back refreshed to deal with it.
The real reason why people find dealing with stress so difficult is because they want to believe that they are special and their situation is unique and much more complex. And in making their situation more complex and themselves special they tie themselves up in knots. Then they confuse themselves. Much as the trick with the three cups and one coin does, we lose sight of the real goal, because the illusion distracts us.
Advanced Stress Management Guide Contents
Advanced Stress Management Guide Contents
What Is Stress?
What Are The Costs of Stress?
What Are The Effects of Stress?
What Are The Causes of Stress?
How Do People Generally Cope With Stress?
The Mindset Shift: It’s Ok To Be Stressed, But Get Over It Quickly
The Secret To Emotional Stress Management
Reduce Stress And Avoid The Stress Tax
How To Deal With Stress
The Way To Relieve Stress
The Law Of Fairness
Pyrrhic Victory And The Value Of Losing