This is the first in a series of Stress Reduction blog posts which are also being featured on the website of my great friend and colleague, Tom Sterner, author of The Practicing Mind: Developing Focus and Discipline in Your Life.
How many times have you heard that lament, or even uttered it yourself? I am going to guess that you will need more than two hands to count all the times on your fingers.
We experience stress every day, but we often make the mistake of thinking that if we could only change our circumstances, then our stress would melt away. Ah, if it were only so. Although we occasionally DO have some control over our stressful circumstances, in many cases, we do not. After all, who is in a position to fire the co-worker who constantly puts you down? Only your boss. Or who can suddenly make a million dollars fall from the sky into your lap? Maybe your close friend Donald Trump.
Do not fear – all is not lost. You have just gotten to the most important part of this blog post.
Most of our stress is caused NOT by the stressful circumstances (stressors) that we experience daily, but by our experience of and response to those stressors!
“How can this be?” you ask. “You make it sound as though I can somehow magically not feel overwhelmed when my boss gives me yet another project with an unreasonable deadline, or that I shouldn’t get angry when my husband (or wife – let’s be fair) comes home late from work for the third time in a week – without calling to let me know! How can those situations not make me feel stressed?”
Good questions. And this blog will explore the not-so-magical, yet very practical answers that will take you on a journey from stressed-out, to stress-less (or at least very stress-reduced).
So stay tuned as we explore 1) the ins and outs of stress: what it is and what it does to us; and 2) stress reduction: how to find new and better ways to manage stress that will radically change – for the better – your experience of stress.
Our goal? To make our minds a more enjoyable place to be!