First and foremost, accept that stress is just like breathing, except you do not have to experience it as often. You were given something that made you “alive”, and being alive is magnificent, but it does come with its fair share of collateral damage. As any Hollywood mogul would say, “It cost to be the boss.”
You need stress to be healthy.
Stress is a lot like the ability to feel pain. Sure we hate feeling pain, but imagine being on fire and not knowing because you were incapable of feeling it. Yeah, you wouldn’t have “felt” a thing, but are you better off because of it? Stress is the same type of sensory; it just stretches beyond our physical body. The ability to feel stress is a perquisite to being able to deal with it. Stress like pain, is a gift that receives little credit.
Realize how much stress saves you.
Think about all the times when you were insanely stressed, and because of that stress, you became aware enough to deal with the problem at hand. Now imagine if you had the same problem, but stress did not create the urgency to deal with the matter. Imagine the potential of how big the problem could have been if no feeling existed to alert you.
Say “Thank you” to stress every time you encounter it.
By saying “Thank you” each and every time you encounter stress, you are reprograming your brain to not receive stress in the inherently normal negative fashion. By living this concept out in your day-to-day affairs, you will be living a life that receives stress like every one amongst you, but processes it in manner that facilitates growth in a more efficient and effective manner. The “new” you will allow stress to do exactly what it is intended to do in the first place – alert you of an unhealthy situation without the negative sides effects.
It’s time for action.
Now that you have the unique ability to process stress without the negative side effects, it is time to deal with the situation or situations that stress has been alerting you about. Just like you wouldn’t wait a day to put a fire out, you shouldn’t put off addressing the stress in your life. Logically speaking, not dealing with stress is the same as letting your house burn down.
First, save the things you cherish the most.
Once something you care about is reduced to ashes, it is impossible to recover. You can build a new house, but it won’t be the one you lost. It is crucial for you to prioritize the things you want to save. Maybe your career comes first, or maybe your family is priority. Either or, it is important for you to be absolutely clear where each ranks in your life, and it is also fundamental that the people around you know as well.
Create your ironclad policies.
“If you don’t stand for anything, you will fall for everything.” In Yawa terms, live boisterously in your world, and meet outsiders somewhere in the middle. Don’t let people who you dislike into your world, and do not take refuge in worlds you do not like. Both extremes lead to stress.
Negotiate ironclad policies.
More often than not, stress is a response to an environment, a relationship, or a situation you are not comfortable with. Your inability to cope is a by-product of not being able to negotiate what you want, with what you are getting.
Learn from others.
I used to play peewee football, but the coach of the team was under the impression that the team was not a peewee team where children play, but a breeding ground for young NFL prospects. Unfortunately for me, I was as fast as I was intelligent, playing running back on offense and linebacker on defense. Every practice and every game I was equally stressed as I was banged up. Long story short, I was the only 12-year-old football star with gray hair.
Later in life I met other professionals, friends, and situations in general whose ideas did not fit what I wanted. However, unlike my peewee days, I did not unanimously accept their ironclad policies. Instead, I coerced an exchange of ironclad policies at the beginning of all my relationships. If we agree, the relationship continues, and if we cannot agree, the relationship is terminated.
Your ability to negotiate who you are with whatever you are up against is not only detrimental to reducing stress in future endeavors, but it is also the key to building and maintaining healthy relationships. Become a better negotiator.
And last but not least . . .
Go out and try to apply what you learned from this blog, then share your experience with all of us. Sharing your unique perspective is realizing, “Every drop of water is an ocean in itself.” – Sadhguru
In other words . . .
Your personal experience, no matter how small, is a vast ocean we can all learn from. Give others a chance to learn from you, like so many gave you the chance.
Brandon Yawa, over and out