05 Jul You can’t eliminate stress; but you can learn to ride the waves as they come in to your lives
Happiness is not living without stress.
Happiness is living well despite stress.
And here’s how…
via Psychology Today by Lisa Firestone
You’re at your desk, about to log off for your lunch break, when you hear the ding of an incoming text. You read the message from your partner saying, “Meeting got moved. Can’t get kids from school today.” By the time you glance back up at your screen, an email has come in from your boss, asking about the progress of a lagging project. As you craft your reply, your phone beeps again, and you eagerly check for the life-saving words of your best friend saying she can pick up your kids, but instead, you’re greeted by a news alert about some unspeakable thing happening in what seems to be an increasingly insane world.
Fill in the blanks of your own latest text, email, and news alert, and most of you can probably relate to this scenario. In fact, the American Psychological Association (APA) recently reported that the constant checking of devices is contributing to high levels of stress for the majority of Americans. This year, results from an APA survey also showed a “statistically significant increase” in stress for the first time since the survey was first conducted in 2007. Stress is on the rise for myriad reasons that are worth examining. But here, I want to explore how to best handle the new waves of stress that have entered our lives. No matter what it is that’s making each of us anxious, we can all arm ourselves with the tools to help us stay calm, centered, and feeling strong in the face of challenges. Here are some techniques we can adopt to better handle moments of stress.
1. Get a hold of your inner critic: One thing we should realize about stress is that so much of what we worry about is based not just on what’s happening in our lives but the messages we tell ourselves about what’s happening. Facing a deadline is stressful, but it’s those nagging thoughts telling us, “You’re never going to finish” or “This is all gonna blow up in your face” that really get us worked up. Getting our kid to finish their homework is tiring, but it’s made all the worse by attacks like “You’re a terrible parent” or “You can’t even get your own kid to listen to you. What a failure!” Take the time to ask yourself, “what are the thoughts around my stress that perpetuate it?”
There are a lot of things in our lives that don’t go our way or that we can’t control, but what makes matters much worse is a “critical inner voice” we all possess that punishes us unnecessarily and escalates our stress. “How can you sleep? You have so much to do.” “What makes you think you can just relax?” “This is just too much. You can’t handle it.” This voice is a friend to our stress, paving a tunnel for it to pour in and consume our state of mind. Identifying our “inner critic” by noticing when it starts yammering away will help us peel away its negative messaging from whatever our actual circumstances may be…
…keep reading the full and original article HERE