Stress management doesn’t have to be stressful! It shouldn’t be stressful! (It would kinda defeat the purpose of managing it in the first place. LOL)
The foundation of stress management is really quite simple.
The foundation consists of 2 pillars that are taken right from the definition of stress.
Definition: Stress is physiological chaos as a result of experiencing a negative emotional response to your perception of your life situation.
Therefore, the 2 pillars of stress management are: 1) regulating your emotional response, 2) changing your perception.
Let’s look at an example.
What are some common emotional responses in a traffic jam? Impatience. Frustration. Anger. Rage. These are negative emotions that are typically experienced in response to the perceived inconvenience of stagnant traffic. This is stress.
Applying the foundations of stress management means you can 1) regulate your emotion, and/or 2) change your perception.
Regulating your emotion is not the same as ignoring your feelings of impatience or frustration. Regulating your emotion is not suppression (consciously choosing to push down or block the negative feelings).
Regulating your emotion is accepting that frustration is an understandable emotion to have in this traffic jam situation, but choosing to not engage with it, and instead choosing to experience a more effective emotion, such as patience. You can regulate your emotion in a traffic jam and go through it stress-free!
As for changing perception…most of us perceive a traffic jam as a minor to major inconvenience. How is there any other way to look at it?!
Have you ever wished for just a little bit of time to yourself, when you can sit back, get comfortable and not have anything else to do? Doesn’t that sound amazing?
Guess what! Your wish is granted in a traffic jam! You can sit there and do nothing because there is nothing else you can do.
If you choose to perceive a traffic jam in this way, it becomes more of a blessing and less of an inconvenience; it isn’t so stressful anymore.
So, the next time you find yourself feeling stressed about a challenge, think of the 2 pillars of stress management:
These are the pillars upon which all stress management tools are based.
It’s really quite simple.
Here’s to conquering stress.
The Stress Experts
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