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Viewing Stress Differently

"Stress is pressure minus the ability to adapt." Jonathan Weitz

The first step is the identification of its root causes--a challenging, introspective journey. We can create the space to make that journey possible by

  • Walking or running alone, without a partner or pet, just thinking
  • Journaling, letting our thoughts flow without worrying about grammar or punctuation
  • Confiding in someone we trust to validate our thoughts
  • Deep breathing, meditating, yoga or tai chi
  • Consulting with a professional lifestyle coach or psychologist
Once we identify the major stressors in our lives, we can begin to examine our responses to them. Parent-child relationships, for example, can be tricky. When we confiscate our child’s cell phone because she spends too much time on it, have we overreacted? Is there a better way to handle the situation?

By stepping back to reflect on our previous reactions, we gain fresh perspective that allows us to make short-term changes that help us reach long-term goals.  

Just the understanding that although we may not be able to change the root causes of our stress, we can change our reactions to it is freeing in itself.

The good news is we can identify the sources of our stress and evaluate our responses to them. Then we can begin to make positive changes that put us on the path to more peaceful, enjoyable lives.


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