Our Battle Against Stress

We are a strange people. Even though most of us live stress-filled lives, we voluntarily add to that stress by choosing certain activities that create more tension, such as reading, watching, or listening, to the news. We are inexplicably drawn toward “bad news.” The media moguls are aware of this phenomenon, so they saturate their products with doom and gloom, relying on our endless craving for disturbing news “good news is no news.” It’s no surprise many of us end up depressed, as well as stressed.

When we focus on this never-ending litany of disaster, despair, dissension, etc., we accumulate a large amount of stress-inducing information. It is easy to forget the net effect of storing these memories can create pressure that may wear down our minds and bodies. Since pressure is already unavoidable, why do we like to add more? Why fuel a fire that may already be raging out of control?

The media is certainly not the only culprit, just an example. In fact, the specter of stress comes at us from all directions and most of us find ourselves inadequately prepared to cope. That’s too bad because stress is only going to become more pervasive in the future.

People handle the stress in their lives in a variety of ways. One approach is stress tolerance. This passive approach can be unhealthy. To adopt the attitude, “oh well, stress is everywhere and there’s nothing I can do about it” induces a sense of fatalism and powerlessness. This philosophy creates more victims than survivors.

Others, hopelessly, try to avoid stress altogether. This effort is so difficult and unnatural that it creates even more stress. Imagine the people who take their trailers to remote locations in the Mojave Desert and live in a small enclave just to avoid the pressure of civilization. Do you think most of them are enjoying the benefits of a stress free life? I doubt it!

A healthier approach is to fight against stress . This is a popular and effective strategy for many. It is proactive and aggressive and there is a competitive element involved (am I going to beat stress or is stress going to beat me?). These people go to the gym, run, take nutritional supplements, listen to tapes, etc. They are out to crush stress or at least keep it a bay.

Finally, there is the concept of embracing stress. To do this requires a paradigm shift. You need to view stress as a partner you must coexist with, recognizing both the good and bad qualities that it brings to the table and make the most of them. After all, without stress our capacity for motivation would wither away.

Stress is like the proverbial mountain in your path. Whether you go around it, over it, or through it, the task is going to be difficult. Of course, you can always stand there and wait for the mountain to crumble, or turn around and go in another direction, but you will soon see that the mountains are everywhere.

This being the case, perhaps your best option is to accept reality and embrace stress . Such an effort can call for a major change in your attitude.

Unfortunately, even the idea of change is enough to send some of you scrambling to another web site.

While much of what happens in life may be out of your control, your attitude is up to you. A wise man once said; “life is 10% what happens to you and 90% what you do about it.” He was referring to the concept of attitude. If stress is causing your life to spin out of control, then change your attitude .

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