How can I feel more in control?
These words represent our mindset and state of being when we are in a healthy relationship with stress. However, too often the words that represent the reality of our relationship with stress include “powerlessness”, “out of control”, and “helpless”. Worse, that sense of hopelessness is amplified by a desire to avoid the very relationship we need to address the most: our stress.
“My stress….” — did you just get an image of a huge blob that is suffocating you?
Even considering personal stress can feel overwhelming and understandably so. We have to tackle such huge concepts in ways that feel possible.
By breaking down a stressor into it’s part, you can figure out what role you can play and reduce your stress!
Common stressor: Traffic
You work hard all day. You have to pick up the kids and get them to soccer practice, then figure out dinner…. but now you are stuck in traffic. As the minutes tick by, you are getting progressively more and more pissed off. So, let’s break it down.
What can’t you control? Traffic, other drivers, how time works and ticks by, that you might be late
What can you control? How you let this impact you, what you do during the time you are trapped in the car, maybe you can cancel or alter plans, maybe you can grab take-out instead of cooking dinner, maybe the kids can learn what it’s like to walk home from school in the snow, or maybe the only thing you can do is put on your favorite song and sing.
Take action! Pick something, even if it’s small, and act on it.
If we focus only on what we can’t control, then we can feel helpless and overwhelmed. Instead, we can learn to recognize what you can control, and take that power back!
crosslinked and co-written with The Hedgehog Way