Stress is such an odd thing. Every day, I engage in a battle – not so much with stress itself, but rather, my own reaction to it.
I tell all of my suppliers and clients that I have launched my own stress reduction program. Essentially, this consists of the following:
– I will not take on any job or activity that carries an abundance of stress without equivalent compensation, either in the form of learning or financial reward.
– I will eliminate high-maintenance people who give me stress each time they open their mouths. My contact with drama queens and drama kings must be kept to a minimum. If I can, I will find a way to eliminate such people entirely.
– I will stop engaging in useless social media activities that distract me from my main work, thereby resulting in stress when deadlines become too tight. There is a place and time for social media and web research, if I am learning something, or if I am able to share insights that benefit others.
– I will stop communicating with people who lack the common courtesy of sending a reply. If I have to worry about when a person will get in touch, or even IF they will get in touch – then that is an extra level of stress taking place un-necessarily.
– Unexpected traffic problems are always a source of extreme stress leading to road rage on the part of the travelling public. I will now depart 30 minutes early on every journey and drive in the slower right lane, allowing the insane, disturbed individuals who are hell bent on killing themselves, to have the faster lanes.
My list is growing daily, but you get the idea.
I sat down and thought about where the stress was coming from and was amazed that so much of it is self-inflicted (maybe all of it) and so much of it can be reduced or removed altogether through improved management on my part of working and personal relationships.
The campaign, I am pleased to report, is doing well.
My attitude towards stress is also changing. I see it now, not as the enemy, but as a reliable warning signal.
If I am feeling stress, it’s telling me something – that I need to better prepare next time, or I need to write everything down – or it may mean flagging that person or relationship as one which needs to be modified or terminated.
This all may sound as though I am being overly harsh or unkind.
And believe me, I have had my doubts about making changes, especially with people I have known for many years.
But then I think (and this is the struggle), that we only have so many hours on this planet. Do we really want to spend it fighting with someone we don’t even know, on a social media platform? Do we really want to endure the endless spewing of complaints from high-maintenance people who make even the smallest thing a major catastrophe? Are we so incompetent at time management, or so blindly enslaved by our agenda, that we can’t leave any space for ourselves, down time or contemplation?
Extreme stress can be fateful. The medical profession tells us that most ailments are caused by stress!
It’s my life.
It’s your life.
We’ll run it the way we please, thank you very much.
Stress can be our friend if we see it as a messenger.