Archive for May, 2013

Spin the Wheel and Guess My Stress!!!

May 15, 2013

Do you ever feel as if you live and work in a battle zone? Do you awaken every morning expecting to go through your day ducking the slings and arrows of stress, frustration and anger? Do you ponder how stress will zap you? Will it come in the form of traffic jams, negative people, budget cuts, increased workloads, impossible schedules, sick kids, or some other equally overwhelming form?
Sometimes, we set ourselves up for stress from the moment we open our eyes. We have prepared ourselves to expect the worst. We spin the stress wheel and play “Guess My Stress! What will make me anxious and possibly sick today?”
So we start our day girded in battle array…ready for the stress snakes to wrap around us and squeeze out all of our air….and we usually get what we expect. Sometimes it feels as if we are stress magnets! We are so used to accepting it, that it becomes a part of us.
Often, we tend to expect the worst because we are creating a reality before we even have all of the facts. Anticipation and presumption can be our enemies. And whether the danger is real or imagined doesn’t matter to our bodies! So, when we convince ourselves that trouble is ahead, we are setting ourselves up to get sucked into the stress spiral and down we go! If we can learn to resist catastrophizing and jumping to conclusions, we will have a better chance to meet whatever comes our way, with calm and clear focus.
It helps to remember that we do have the power to choose the thoughts that we allow to rent space in our brains. It isn’t easy because most of us have been entertaining and nurturing the “Stress is Going to Get Me!” attitude for a long time. We have accepted stress as an acceptable way to live…and die! We program our brains to go into ANT mode (automatic negative thoughts) and ANTS attract the stress snakes
A successful personal stress management program includes identifying stress triggers and stress busters, but just as important, is a person’s ability to step away from the stress wheel and refuse to hang out with ANTS and Stress Snakes!
“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.”
~ William James