So what are we to do?
This was exactly the question emailed to me today via THE CORE OF HAPPINESS fan page on Facebook. (Have a question? Don't hesitate to email me at: email@example.com.)
Stress is everywhere. Tomorrow we'll go into more details about exactly what stress is. Briefly, there are LOTS of types of stress. There's good stress and bad stress. There's financial stress, work stress, peer pressure, marital strain, parental and familial stress...truly, the list goes on and on....There's stress from getting a promotion, from getting married, having children....
Start by taking a piece of paper and literally writing out - in point form - every individual thing that causes you stress. In over 20 years of doing this exercise with people I can tell you that responses have ranged between 10 lines and nine double-sided pages!
From this list, divide each and every point into one of two categories: 1) Things UNDER my control and 2) things NOT UNDER my control.
This is an INCREDIBLY important step! If something is UNDER your control... drumroll please ... then you can control it! Woohoo! YES! You can DO something about it!
And if something is NOT UNDER your control then you can't do a darned thing about it -- so practice putting it out of your mind! (If it is out of your control, then you have to learn to cope with it. We'll deal with COPING SKILLS later this week.)
Beside each point UNDER your control, write some point form notes about what you can do to solve the issue. Then practice putting all your attention on these items.
Put a date on your note paper and file it safely. Each month, do the same exercise. You'll undoubtedly find you feel much better almost instantly!
If you have difficulty thinking about practical things you can do to help you take control of stressors, approach the people closest to you and ask for some assistance. Together I'm sure you can brainstorm some great ideas!
As always, feel free to get in touch with me if you think I may be able to help in any way. You can reach me via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for the great question! Please keep them coming!