You’ve got a lot to do. The world is asking you to do it in less time, so you can do even more. There’s an insane pressure in all this busyness that’s pushing you to the edge. Yet, what if it’s not all those demands “out there” that are doing it to you? What if there’s a word you keep saying subconsciously that’s at the root of the stress you feel? What if knowing this word and how to turn it around could free you from stress?
For example, when you’re stuck in traffic and late for an appointment, what do you say to yourself?
When a new stack of work lands on your desk on Friday afternoon, what does your subconscious tell you?
When your kids are complaining about not getting the latest iPhone when they just got one for Christmas, what is it that makes your blood boil?
Is there a word that subconsciously triggers the tension that shoots up your spine?
Could the source of your stress lie in the word “should” and its partner “should not?” Before you shake your head in disbelief or disagreement, let’s see how that could be and how you might use that insight to free you from stress.
Recall a recent time when you felt stressed-out. Take yourself back to that moment and remember how you felt in your body. Can you remember what you were thinking at that moment?. . .
Now, can you phrase that thought as a “should” or “should not” statement? For example, “There shouldn’t be so much traffic in my way.” “I should be done with my work for the week, so I can enjoy my weekend.” “My kids should be happy with what they have. We didn’t have any of this when I was a kid.”
The bottom-line is: When you are thinking things “should be” different than they are, you feel stress.
Now, here’s a simple strategy that can begin to release that stress from your mind.
List all the reasons you can think of “why things are the way they are.” For example, “It’s eight a.m., which is rush-hour, so, of course, there’s lots of traffic.” “We just got a new account at work, so, I can expect there’s going to be lots to do.” “My kids want to be liked by their peers, so, it makes sense that they want the latest iPhone.”
When you begin to notice the causes for the way things are, it can take the edge off the stress you feel. You can then choose to accept them as natural instead of fighting against them. This opens the door to taking productive action. You can then ask yourself, “Given what is happening, what’s one thing I can do right now to feel better and move things in a positive direction?”
When you ask that question and take that action, you will likely immediately feel more empowered and less stressed. Then you can put your time and energy into what can make things better.
P.S. Meditation is a great way to discover your limiting thoughts and turn them around. Learn more about Meditation Programs.