Controlling Stress

Have you ever had a day that was going great until you got out of bed? Have you ever gotten up, felt good about your day, arrived at work to be greeted with, "We got a problem?" Have you ever felt the tension increasing within you? I mean everything you looked at stared back at you with a problem or something that needed your attention

When you are not controlling your day and the events of the day are emotionally controlling you, that is a stressful day! It is amazing what stress can do to you:

• It can emotionally drain you until there is a pounding in your head.

• It can mentally paralyze you to the point that you don’t have the energy to emotionally deal with anything.

• It can physically wipe you out so nothing gets your attention, and if it did, it would only get messed up.

Stress is such an interesting fact of life. Reality is — you can’t live without it. It is a medical fact if you could take all the stress out of your life, you would be dead in 3 to 4 minutes. So, it must not be the stress that is bad! It is and it will always be part of your life.

Does that mean you have to just give up and accept the drain it creates as a natural part of life? NO!!!! When you give up on being able to handle issues, you increase the negative stress in and around your life.

The key is learning to control the stress, rather than having the stress control you. Here’s my philosophy — people who work to eliminate stress become even more stressful; people who learn to control stress enhance their creativity.

Daily, I ask people, "Do you work better under pressure?" The normal response is “yes." Reality is you don’t work better under pressure; you come apart under pressure you can’t control. Why? Because that pressure is mentally, emotionally, and physically taking your energy away. Stress that controls you leaves you exhausted and frustrated, which only feeds more stress.

You can’t rid your life of stress, so you must learn to control STRESS in your life. How do you do that?

Stay calm!

I know — easier said than done! BUT this is the starting point. When you lose your calmness, you also lose your clarity. Without the clarity you create confusion. Negative stress feeds on confusion. It uses confusion to expand your worry; it uses confusion to enhance your doubt. When worry and doubt are turned loose, they are capable of blowing the picture out of proportion. The larger the crisis, the more energy it sucks out of you.

Take a deep breath and stay calm!

Talk things through!

Action without thought is so dangerous. It puts you at the mercy of your emotions. Since most events pass through our negative emotions, you end up playing the “what If” game. That is an emotional game you can’t win. Why? Because the “what if” game stares at your doubts and worries, which just adds fuel to the negative stress.

Slow down, calm down! Talk things through. Take a sheet of paper, draw a line down the middle and list all the actions you can think of. Examine them, pick three possibilities and act on them.

Refuse to react!

Every time you react you emotionally speed up. Each time you emotionally speed up, you feed your negative feelings. That only expands your worries and doubts.

Ask yourself: is this a reaction or a response? Is this taking me toward a solution or deeper into the problem. Remember — you must respond, not react!!!!

Examine your emotions!

You must never forget you are more emotional than you are logical. That means you will never really understand what you think until you fully understand what you are feeling. Emotions cloud the mind’s ability to clearly see what is really happening. So, examine your feelings; know what emotions you are bringing to this event and understand why those emotions have been attached. When this is completed, you will be able to search for the solution.

See the real issue!

This will naturally happen when you have faced, examined and understood all the emotions attached to the situation. Once the emotions are understood, ask the correct question:

What is it I am really dealing with in this situation?

You have got to be clear on what is actually happening. You can exhaust a lot of energy dealing with the wrong issue and in doing so simply feed the negative stress.

Stay focused on finding the solution!

It is so easy to get distracted! For most it doesn’t take much to get them off track. When you lose your focus, you turn your sight over to your emotions. Now, don’t forget that stress is emotional, not mental! That is so important for you to remember. The stronger your mental presence, the more challenging it is for negative stress to take over.

To stay focused, you must make finding the solution the focal point. The solution will not be discovered emotionally; the solution will be found in your mind. Stay focused; search for the solution; keep things moving at a calm pace.

Remember, people who work to eliminate stress become even more stressful; those who learn to control stress enhance their creativity.

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The Flint Team