Changing Your Reaction to Stressful Thoughts

 

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Stress. One little word that seems to be on many people’s minds these days. If you’re finding stress entering into your day-to-day life, I would like to offer some suggestions on how to alleviate this state of mind. Here’s one simple way. Wayne Dyer says:

When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

So what does this mean, exactly? Consider for a moment that an outside event can invoke completely different thoughts for two different people. Person #1 may think – wow, that’s so cool!, or I’m good with that. Meanwhile the exact same event may cause person #2 to melt down or say I am so not good with that. What’s the difference? It’s the immediate unconscious thoughts due to years of conditioning. That’s all.

Consider how you might change your own thoughts and responses to outside things or people. It’s really not important to change people or things (good luck with that anyways), it’s more important to consider your own reaction to the seemingly unchangeable. So just let it go, and change the way you view the thing that is seemingly creating stress for you. Of course that sounds easy but it can be difficult to take either of these actions (changing your thoughts or letting go).

facebook_-330887767.jpgPart of alleviating stress in your life relates to letting go of things you cannot control or change. It’s an inner choice:

– you can choose to stay in an out-of-control spiral where external stressors like people or things typically don’t change; or

– you can remove yourself from the stressor by thinking differently about it; whether it’s for a moment or longer term. So again you basically have two options:

1. Stay the course and continue to feel the stress; or
2. Change your inner thoughts and reaction to the stress event. Then feel the weight lifted off your shoulders (in other words, stress begone!).

Which do you choose? I prefer the one that lessens my stress.

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Emotions. Everyone who wants a piece of inner peace say “I”. We discussed thoughts earlier, but consider that your thoughts create your emotions (because without a thought there would be no emotion – where do you think emotion comes from?). It’s true that emotions can be beneficial in some ways and for some things. They’re part of our system of sensing and responding to the world. But try not to let emotions completely control you. They will chew you up and spit you out if you let them run rampant. So please, make a good choice. Never allow another person or event to control your thoughts and emotions.

Again, this sounds simple on paper, and it may be easier said than done. How do you change your thoughts and resulting reactions. Better yet, how do you sustain this change into a learned behaviour? This is where “leverage” may come in handy. Tony Robbins says “Leverage is uncovering what’s most important to a person to help them make the commitment to making a change. To ensure that change is lasting, the commitment has to be overwhelming. It has to overcome the forces of inertia that hold our old behaviours and beliefs in place.”

He goes on to say that “to access leverage, you must…associate massive PAIN to not changing NOW, and massive PLEASURE to changing immediately. The motivation is based on both pain AND pleasure. Pain is short-term motivation, but you need the pleasure side for long-term motivation.”

To sum up, consider how a better life choice decision for alleviating stress, like changing your thoughts or emotional reaction to external events, could help you change your life for the better.

Continue to practice these strategies and you’ll be on your way to living your best life!

– Kevin

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