What’s causing stress in your life right now? Is it the demands of your job? Conflict in a relationship? Money? Health issues? Are you worried about what might happen in these situations? Or about something that has happened already? Are you stressed about something you have to do, but aren’t sure you can? Can you pinpoint one thing that set off your stress reaction?
While there’s the chronic stress of living in these fast-paced times, it’s intense stress episodes that can really push us over the edge. In this article, we’ll explore a two-step stress relief strategy to handle those intense stress reactions.
I’ve discovered there’s usually one thing that gets an intense stress reaction rolling. Sometimes it’s a subtle comment in an email that gets under my skin. I may have brushed this off in that moment—but it keeps working on me, subconsciously influencing how I view myself and others in a negative way. Sometimes it’s a simple event like oversleeping that puts me in a rush which snowballs into a tension-filled morning. Sometimes it’s a criticism that makes me doubt my abilities, my possibilities, and my resources.
That one little thing can have a domino effect, if I don’t catch it. The way I related to that one event can put me in a mood that changes how I think, feel, and act in every situation after that. That can continue on for hours, or even days, or weeks, until I do two simple things—acknowledge it and let it go. These two simple steps are a surprisingly powerful stress relief strategy.
Too simple you say? Too easy?
I would say simple, “Yes.” Easy, “No.”
Yes, this is a simple strategy, but it is highly effective and not always easy to do. Acknowledging that something got under your skin is to admit vulnerability; something you might not want to admit. You may want to think you’re a bigger person than that, stronger, smarter, or more mature than to let that happen. But, honestly, we all have our Big Self and our little selves. We all have the potential to be hurt, thrown off, and put out by small things.
Acknowledging what gets under your skin, what makes you nervous, and what makes you afraid and worried is a vitally important first step to relieve the stress reactions that can snowball from those feelings.
Acknowledging the small thoughts and feelings that make us uncomfortable and stress us out can be amazingly liberating. I can remember countless times when just admitting my anxiety or fear helped me feel better right away. Truth can set us free.
Once I’ve acknowledged that one primary emotion I’m feeling and what it relates to, the second “letting go” step can take me to a whole new perspective. To initiate this step, I can ask myself, “What are some other possible ways of looking at this situation?”
For example, maybe the other person didn’t mean what I think they meant. Maybe I could go have a talk with them about it, instead of just assuming I know. Maybe, there’s enough time to get done what I need to get done, if I just take a fresh look at what I really need to do and what can wait. Maybe, there are some other money sources I haven’t thought of. Maybe there are other healing options.
Life is rarely as black and white as we make it. There are many possibilities in every situation. There are many possible perspectives.
When I open up to the fact that there are many possibilities in a situation, it becomes easier to let go of the way I was looking at things that was causing me stress. After all, in the end, it’s how we look at any situation that makes it stressful or not. When I let go of my stress-producing outlook, I instantly feel better.
I would love to hear some of your best stress-relief techniques in the Comments below. Also, please share this post with your family, friends, and co-workers through the social sharing links. Thanks for sharing!