Before we get into dealing with stress, lets first clarify a couple of facts about stress. According to the American Institute of Stress, there is no actual definition of stress that is accepted by everyone, however, the most common understanding of stress is “physical, mental, or emotional strain or tension”. Thus, stress can be also healthy. For example, preparing for the championship, it requires a lot of work, effort, pressure, but this stress is lead by passion for better performance.
The stress we will be talking about is the one that harms you. How do you know it harms you?
Do you experience any of these on a daily basis?
If yes, then let’s practice an exercise, which can help you to confront stress.
So, how about we embrace stress by talking to it? And what do we mean by talking to stress?
Many times, when we do not have control over certain things, it scares us and here comes stress. Imagine for a minute that your friend all of a sudden started to ignore you. You get worried because you do not understand what you did wrong that your friend does not want to communicate with you any longer. You start overthinking the latest events to remember what could be the reason. Then you feel disrespected and angry that your friend is so inconsiderate about your feelings. There could be millions of reasons for such behavior; and at the end of the day when you both talk you realize that it was simply a silly misunderstanding on both sides. You two could have avoided unnecessary negativity and saved your own time and energy.
Now, imagine this friend is your stress. Before talking to it, you just feel injustice and anxiety without even understanding WHY. Therefore, it is very important to understand the real reasons behind stress to feel less weakened by it.
- Write down ONE thing that gives you a “bad” feeling.
For example: You constantly think that you lack money.
- Then, next to it, write THREE lessons, which you learn by thinking that you are constrained with money (be honest with yourself).
- I have learnt that money does not come to me because I am not able to appreciate what I already have.
- I have learnt that I am expected to be “rescued” by someone else financially.
- I have learnt that I am afraid of changes and therefore the fear of changing to a new job that could bring me more resources does not let me move forward.
Once you have confronted yourself with the real reasons you would realize that you actually have much more control over the circumstances.
- Once you have stated the three lessons, in front of each lesson write ONE action; it can be a tiny action but which you can start TODAY.
- I have learnt that money does not come to me because I am not able to appreciate what I already have → ACTION → Write down 10 things, which you are sincerely grateful for in life!
- I have learnt that I am expected to be “rescued” by someone else financially → ACTION → Write down who you consider to be your “rescuer” and why it is NOT you?
- I have learnt that I am afraid of changes and therefore the fear of changing to a new job that can bring me more resources does not let me move forward → ACTION → Write down what is your dream job and how your current job differs from what you want?
It all might seem like a lot of writing or typing for you, but this exercise will help you become more conscious about your state. It will also help you to be more appreciative about your stress because you see how it teaches you things. All the discomfort that you get is your wake up call to conquer your dreams.
You do not have to do this exercise at once, give yourself some time to ponder and observe yourself accordingly to those tips. If you have any troubles to understand, complete the exercise or you would like to know further steps, you are welcome to write under the comments or directly to our e-mail. We will think of it together!
Most of the times we would like to avoid or freeze the “bad feeling” using short-term methods, which are great in combination but not enough without profound work. Emerald Counseling would love to help you move forward towards a stress-free life through deep and creative approaches!