You might experience stress on and off all day. It’s the human condition, you might think. What if you were to learn otherwise? That stress isn’t a constant foe, or at least, need not be?
What if stress is a tool rather than an enemy? If you can see it as a guide, you can use it to your advantage. Until you find value in stress, though, it can ruin your happiness.
I changed my view about stress after I got lost as I drove in the city.
“Where am I?” I pondered, tapping coordinates into my GPS. No signal, however. “Hmm.” What to do?
Without the GPS to guide me, I wasn’t sure how to reach my destination. Various roads lay ahead, but, which were right?
Listen to stress
Stress is a barometer and internal GPS. It tells you there’s a problem to fix. Still, if you don’t recognize it has your back, you fight it, push it aside, and don’t enjoy its wisdom.
At last, the signal told the GPS where it was and suggested a specific route.
You can’t benefit from stress unless you hear what it tells you. Like the GPS in my car, it can’t do its job unless you are online, ready to plug into its suggestions.
When stress speaks, rather than panic, listen. Note what triggers it; insecurity? Fear?
What does it say? Does it tell you to take a different route? It could show you’ve veered off-track.
The moment you choose another way, stress subsides because it’s done its job.
Stress serves a purpose
Stress doesn’t exist to make your life hell. Every part of you, and each behavior you carry out, aims to improve matters. No action you perform is an attempt to make life worse. Even self-harm springs from the desire for relief from pain, and the same goes for stress.
Stress occurs because you do, or think, an unhelpful action or thought. But, it’s important to note the difference between stress and the critical voice in your head.
They are not the same.
Negative self-talk both causes stress and can result from stress when you don’t change direction.
Self-talk, the result of fear, shows your insecurities, but doesn’t always tell the truth. It exaggerates and can lie to keep you in your safety zone. Its prime aim is to make sure you don’t stray from familiar paths. But it can stop you branching out to improve your welfare.
Stress, on the other hand, is meant to trigger change.
Time to change
You experience stress when you don’t stay in line with your beliefs. Stress also flows when a person or event challenges your principles or danger arises.
The intended outcome is that you’ll instigate change and get back on track.
Without tension, you wouldn’t recognize the first sign there’s a problem. The second your direction shifts the wrong way, even a little, stress rears its head; that’s the time to take note, pause, and change your thoughts and behavior.
Copyright © 2019 Bridget Webber. All rights reserved