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Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Generally, we think that stress is a situation. We have a fight in a relationship, our car breaks down, or we get laid off from work. This is a common myth. Although, this is not to reduce the actual situation to nothing because we know that it can trigger stress but stress is not our circumstances.

So, if stress is not our circumstances what is stress?

A common equation that is used to describe stress is A+B=C. A is the activating event (situation), B is our belief, and C is our consequences (signs and symptoms). For example, if we are laid off from our job (Activating Event) and we believe that this is the worst thing that could ever happen to us (Belief) then our Consequences will be doubt, fear, and worry. Or, if we are laid off from our job (Activating Event) and we believe this is the best thing that could ever happen to us (Belief) then our Consequences will be certainty, confidence, and hope.

Therefore, stress is our reaction or our belief, which creates our consequences. Our consequences are our signs and symptoms mentally that are manifested physically. Some signs and symptoms of stress are difficulty concentrating, a racing mind, disorganization, sadness, irritability, anger, moodiness, headaches, neck aches, backaches, gastrointestinal problems, over or under eating, over or under sleeping, or increase in addiction of alcohol, smoking, or drugs.

Basic stress is in our everyday life because it begins with our thoughts. We get up in the morning worrying about all the things we have to do today and all the things that bothered us from yesterday. We go to work, we go to class, we go to being a parent, we go to being the provider, and we go to doing our life. Our day is filled with stress because it is filled with our beliefs of doubt, fear, and worry.

If we destress ourselves at the foundation of our thoughts our feelings and actions will follow.

How do we destress ourselves beginning with our thoughts? We recognize our doubt, fear, and worry and learn how to change it into certainty, confidence, and hope. When we change our thoughts into certainty, confidence, and hope we will feel faith and then we will make decisions based on that faith.

We have a choice, we can think thoughts of doubt, fear, and worry or we can think thoughts of certainty, confidence, and hope. Sounds simple, but it is not easy.

Thinking the worse thing could happen is just a habit that we develop but if we start thinking that everything is going to be okay, because it always is, then we start to create a habit of faith.

When we recognize our stressful thoughts and change them into the opposite we can watch ourselves become experts at stress management.

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Until next time, don't forget to have fun and be playful!