Do you experience excessive stress in your life? Do you sense your life is overloaded with tasks or deadlines? Do you often feel anxious or out of control? Do you worry excessively about future challenges? Do you get irritated or angry too much or too often? Is your sleep negatively impacted by any of these pressures?
- Here are some classic, well acknowledged, approaches to reducing stress:
- Exercise more
- Relax regularly, e.g. learn to meditate
- Identify unnecessary stressors and eliminate them, e.g. doing too much for others
- Behave in healthier ways, e.g. eat healthily and stop using unhealthy behaviours to control stress, such as smoking or drinking / eating excessively
- Get your stressors into perspective, e.g. how important will this seem a year from now?
- Talk to others, or a professional helper, about your stress to gain their perspective and advice
These approaches are all helpful and should certainly be used. But in my extensive experience of helping thousands of clients to eliminate stress from their lives, the single most effective approach is to change the way we think about both the sources and symptoms of stress.
If we’re stressed, we’re almost certainly in a state of mind that I call ‘resistance’. Resistance means having negative thoughts about something, or wanting something to be different. We might be resisting the past (e.g. regret or blame), or the present (e.g. being dissatisfied about a current situation), or the future (e.g. worry) or we’re resisting our stress symptoms (e.g. uncomfortable feelings, such as anxiety or irritation). Resistance is always irrational. If we’re resisting the past or present, we’re wishing for the impossible. Neither the past nor the present can ever be different. If we’re worried we’re resisting an aspect of the future that we believe we cannot control (if we could control it we wouldn’t be worrying). Wanting the future to be different in a way that we cannot control is as irrational as wanting the past to be different (we clearly cannot control that either). If we’re resisting our feelings, we’re wanting something to be different that we cannot immediately control and through resistance we’re always making those feelings worse.
To find out how to stop doing these things and take control of your thoughts and feelings, and so eliminate stress from your life, come to my free webinar. See Abicord’s website for more info on the webinar. Click here to register.