And now, some practical advice…
Are you ready for some practical advice on how to eliminate the stress in your life?
Because while I have been laying down a foundation for the “why” and the “what” of stress, it was all necessary to get to the “how” of eliminating stress. So, let’s dive in.
Consider something that is causing you stress right now. It could be a relationship. It could be a situation. It could even be your own personal weakness.
Write it down. Give it a full sentence. “My (relationship/situation/weakness) is causing me stress.”
Now, let’s begin the advice part.
After your sentence, write the word “because…”
Have you done it? I’m serious; write it down before you go any further.
What are you attaching to the relationship/situation/weakness? And specifically, I mean are you attaching one or more of the following:
My own pressure test is to change the question slightly and ask myself:
- Am I afraid of failing? (This is the direct result of attaching success)
- Am I afraid of being rejected? (This is the direct result of attaching significance)
- Am I afraid of risk/the unknown? (This is the direct result of attaching control)
If you get a yes to any of this, write it down after “because…” It would be something like this: “My (relationship/situation/weakness) is causing me stress because I am afraid of (failing/being rejected/unknown risk) and that will hurt me.”
This is the cause of your stress. Not the relationship. Not the situation. Not your weakness.
The cause of our stress is what we attach to it.
In other words, when we attach success/failure, significance/rejection, or control/risk to the moment, it makes the relationship, situation, weakness stressful. Think about that for a moment. If the situation isn’t going to lead to failure, rejection, or risk, would you still be stressed? I’m going to guess the answer is “no.”
Ready for an extra bit of advice?
This bit, for me, is huge. It has been THE key to minimizing – and even eliminating – stress in my life.
Instead of attaching success, attach confidence – the confidence that I am doing my best. Then success and failure don’t matter. Because I am doing my best. And my best is all that I can do.
Instead of attaching significance, attach acceptance – the acceptance of my full self (the beautiful and the ugly). Then significance and rejection don’t matter. Because I am not looking for other people to validate me. And who I am right now is enough.
Instead of attaching control, attach trust – the trust that I will get through this. Then control and risk don’t matter. Because I trust that I will somehow get through this. And I have what it takes to thrive when it’s over.
There’s plenty more to unpack, but that’s enough for now.
I mua. Onward and upward, my friend.
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