In the most basic sense, stress keeps us alive. It comes from a self-preservation instinct we all share and its basic purpose is to ensure we’re alert and observant to potential dangers around us.
But stress, thanks to the way we deal with it, has gotten a bad rap and now accounts for serious damage to our hearts, our immune system and our nervous system.
But it wasn’t supposed to be this way—stress was supposed to be a gentle reminder that we’re alive and we want to stay that way.
It comes from a place of love and is not an end-all, be-all villain in our lives.
Here are simple ways to reframe your relationship with stress:
First, think about stress differently. It’s not an evil black cloud that follows you around and ruins your day. Really, it’s not anything but your reaction to a situation. Remember that. It’s a reaction, not a physical reality that has the power to dump the trash on your kitchen floor and empty your bank account.
Another way to change your mind set about stress is to pay attention to the situations that cause stress in your life. Typically, these aren’t alarms that should be put off like hitting a snooze button in the morning. Take a moment and analyse the most stressful moments in your day.
And finally, your job is to identify your stress and act on it. Make changes when you can and adopt practices like prayer or meditation when you can’t change the stress factors.
Always remember that stress is a warning light. It’s not the vehicle, it’s not the mechanical problem causing the impending breakdown. It’s a warning that things should change soon to avoid an eventual problem.