Serve your way through stress…
Let’s be realistic: stress is inevitable. And frankly, some of it can actually be good for us.
But as I mentioned last week, there are six main responses to stress and only two of them are healthy: influence or adapt.
What makes these responses healthy? Let me offer two main thoughts.
First, both influencing (getting inside the problem) and adapting (getting outside of the problem) force us to operate from the creative, problem-solving part of our brains. This is important, because the unhealthy alternatives will take us to the self-centered, potentially self-destructive part of our brains.
Where we think defines how we make decisions. If we go to the wrong part of our brain when we are experiencing stress, we can’t make good decisions. We won’t wind up in a good space. That’s what unhealthy looks like.
Second, true influencing and true adapting are driven by the desire to serve. This serving mindset helps us connect with the people around us – even while the stress continues. In other words, when we feel connected to each other, we operate at our best. When we don’t feel any connections, we operate at our worst.
The serving mindset also provides a boundary for the situation. As long as we can serve, we stay. But if we can’t serve any more, it’s a sign to leave the situation and/or the relationship. Staying in a situation and/or relationship that you can’t truly influence or adapt is unhealthy.
So, what’s the bottom line here? Serve your way through stress.
Serve through influencing. Serve through adapting.
We cannot serve through shame, manipulation, blame, or withdrawal. It’s just not possible.
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