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This changed my perspective on stress...try it!

I went to a talk about stress the other day and something happened. Perspective. I’ve always been a positive person, but when I’m stressed I don’t love it. Who does! Something shifted during this talk that I attended. The psychologist who was presenting talked about our mindset with stress. As we all know, stress is inevitable, it happens to all of us whether we like it or not. Sometimes it's something called Eustress, which is can be something positive like being nervous before your wedding, the birth of your child, a big presentation or traveling. It’s something that is acute, short lived, and is over once the event happens. But other types of stress can become chronic if they’re not dealt with properly, that’s when things get dicey and potentially unhealthy. But here’s the thing - stress is actually GOOD, but it’s HOW we deal with stress that can be detrimental to our health. 

Here’s your perspective change. Stress means that we care. Yep that’s right, when we are stressed about something it’s mainly because we care about it enough to be stressed about it! So aren’t we lucky, yeah that’s right I said it LUCKY to feel stressed! That means we care!!! This shifted things for me. I get stressed more than I like to admit, but this perspective shift made me think about my stress differently and has really helped me relax a little more with my stressors which in turn makes my life a whole lot better! 

When we are stressed we have a choice. There’s something called the 4 A’s of Stress





These are our choices for the most part. Unfortunately, a lot of times the choices we make aren’t the healthiest. We self-medicate with alcohol, food or drugs, we bury it, we ignore it only for it to come back with vengeance. If you’ve ever been super stressed you know how much it can affect your day and your health. You may get sick more often, you may not be motivated to do much of anything, it may be hard to focus, you may get heart palpitations or feel generally sick all the time. The list goes on and on. We’ve all been here at one point in our lives, myself included, but if we change our perspective and deal with our stressors in a healthier more productive way, they won’t become chronic and affect our health. They may still exist in our lives, but they won’t take over.

Here are a few examples of my stressors specifically and how I changed my perspective.

Stressor: I am stressed that my cancer will come back. 

Perspective change: I care a lot about my health and want to feel my best and live a long life

How to deal with this healthily: I can ensure that I do all the things that I have control over that are necessary to keep me healthy. Sleep well, eat healthy foods, exercise, practice good mental health, let go of what I can can’t control. Most of all, be present. 

Stressor: I worry about my daughter getting sick

Perspective change: I love her and am capable of love

How to deal with this healthily: Be present with her and control what I can control. Give her healthy foods, let her play and be a kid, and ensure she moves her body. Pick my battles (does anyone remember my pajama dilemma!) 

Try this exercise with some of your stressors. 

  1. Name the stressor

  2. Change your perspective

  3. Choose a healthy way to manage the stressor

Try this exercise for yourself and see how your life will change. Honestly, it made such a huge difference for me, and I hope it does the same for you!

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