Relationships can be highly important in our day to day lives.
We may not realize the impact of them upon our quality of life until they start to go sour.
It is at that point that we really come to identify how important getting along can be to our overall state of happiness and harmony in our lives.
We Are Inter-connected
In our modern world we tend to think of ourselves as fairly independent at times. But the reality of it all, is that we are incredibly dependent upon one another for things like goods and services.
Our success is highly related to marketing ourselves, and having people buy and recommend our goods and services. It is a vast world of mutual exchange.
But not just exchanging goods and services, but also cooperating and making our lives not only easier, but more enjoyable.
Being able to get along and interact smoothly is key!
How We Handle Differences
Dealing with a myriad of different people, inevitably comes with a mixture of different opinions and perspectives.
What we do when we encounter perspectives different from our own will make all the difference.
Here are some helpful tips and things that we can do when we encounter different opinions:
Make sure we are listening
Ask to repeat if necessary
Acknowledge the other’s opinion
Ask them to explain or elaborate more on why they feel that way
Not tell them they are wrong, but perhaps say that we had heard or read otherwise
Accept that they hold a different opinion and perspective
Learn something from them by hearing what they have to say
Come away from the conversation with a broader perspective
Feel good about ourselves because we were able to avoid a conflict and allowed the person to hold their opinion at the same time.
Perhaps we will be able to make a new friend or acquaintance instead of alienating them.
Relating Well = Feeling Well
This isn’t a specifically defined formula in scientific terms.
But I would hazard a guess, that those persons who were able to relate well and harmoniously with others, would very likely experience far lower levels of stress in their daily lives.
And what better “stress buster” can there be than getting along?
When we get along, life just seems to flow that much smoother.
People may go out of their way to help us, and we may find ourselves helping them in return.
If you are having difficulty with the relationships in your life, it can make for a lot of stressful moments. If you would like some help in getting better at working through relationship problems, then I’d be very happy to help you.
Better relationships are waiting, and less stress as a result.
The good news is that summer is here! And we’ve been waiting a long time for it. Any Islander, whether born or transplanted, who has endured the rainy, cloudy, seemingly never-ending gray days of winter has longed for summer weather to get here. Okay, maybe it is just me! But I have a feeling that there may be more than a few of you out there who are glad that summer is finally here! But along with the good weather came a large amount of summer stress.
Summer Hit With A Bang!
Did it ever this year! Barely did we get a chance to get used to the nice sunny weather and head out to the beach, when along with summer weather, we also woke up to hot, hazy, smoke-filled skies! And to top things off, we also got to find out that we were in the middle of an unprecedented drought!
The combination is enough to get a lot of people feeling concerned, some edgier than usual, and others downright anxious and stressed out!
What To Do?
The first thing, and I think that this is generally good advice in almost any situation:
And in this case, one might add, stay cool and calm. Over-reacting to anything, generally leads to a lot of nervous energy and heading off in one of several possible directions, without really taking the time to fully consider the ramifications of our actions. It is often a good idea to sit for a bit and take some time to think things through before acting. That is unless you are on fire, in which case it is generally better to drop to the ground and roll.
Don’t Make Matters Worse!
I heard that there have been over 1000 wildfires in BC alone, so far this year! That is mind-boggling to take in. It gives an idea of how big our province truly is. But also sadly, out of those 1000+ fires, it has been estimated that over 400 were caused by humans!
Perhaps at this time of year, we all need to be extra careful about things that we generally would never think could cause a fire. A fire south of Nanaimo was apparently started when a hay bailing machine struck a rock and a spark flew off and started a fire! Who would have imagined such a thing? The grass and forest are THAT dry! Walking on the front lawn feels like walking over a patch of porcupine quills. The grass is THAT dry!
Perhaps now is a time to be super extra careful! It can take years to regrow what a moment of inattention could cause to our forests. And somethings can never be replaced.
We’ve all probably heard about “earthquake preparedness” by now. It has been suggested that we have on hand at least 72 hours worth of supplies to tide us over in the event of a major earthquake. To those of us who have those supplies tucked away, no problem. You are ready. But to the others of us who may not have those supplies on hand. This may be a time to consider what we may need to get us through a difficult spot, even such things as a lengthy power outage. Or in the event of an encroaching fire, the idea might be for each family member to have a bag packed full of essentials, and ready to go should the call come to evacuate.
It seems a bit surreal, to be even suggesting that last part about “having a bag ready to go.” But what lot of us do not consider I think, is the close proximity of a lot of our west-coast homes to major forested areas. Some homes are practically treed in! And the part that I think may be difficult for a lot of us reguar citizens to take into account, is how FAST a red-hot forest fire in a tinder dry zone could spread!
I’m thinking kindling on a roasting hot fire. That fast!
Better to be prepared than to be caught unaware I am thinking.
The Worst “Seems” Over
How things change from one week to another! One day we are waking up to a thick smoky haze and not able to go outside because of the smoke from the surrounding forest fires. A week later, some of those forest fires are either under control or put out, and we can go outside and breathe again.
But are things really better? We all hope so. We hope that the firefighters are getting the upper hand on some of these fires, and that Mother Nature seems to be cooperating by providing us with a little rain over the weekend.
Let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope that the worst is over. But in the meantime, remember these summer stress relief tips:
have a preparedness plan
continue to conserve water, summer isn’t over yet!
If you’ve ever been bothered by ongoing worry, then you know how much of an energy zapper it can be!
Have you ever seen an energetic looking worrier?
Me neither! People that worry seem to have this harried look about them. As if they were deeply preoccupied by something and unable to pull themselves out of it. There’s a reason why we feel so sapped when we are caught in the endless cycle of worry.
Under regular operating conditions, our brain may use around 30% of our glucose / energy
And that is under “normal” operation! When we are worrying, we are thinking a LOT more thoughts and consuming a LOT more energy, and therefore we are likely to feel run down.
Below are some of the potential problems that can occur when we worry:
Lack of peace of mind
Lack of enjoyment of life
Can also greatly affect your health
How To Deal With Worry?
Given the possible serious and devastating effects of worry on our health and enjoyment of life over time, it is very important to identify that we are “over-worrying” and then to take some action to resolve it. The following two methods that I will present have helped clients to better deal with their worries and to achieve greater peace of mind.
Change “Worry” To “Concern”
One of the things that I will suggest clients do is to substitute the word “worry” for “concern”!
Now on the surface this may not seem like much. It may not seem like we are doing anything at all. It is just substituting one word for another right? Yes and no. We create our world and our internal environment by the words and thoughts and ideas that we choose for ourselves.
Here’s how it works:
1) Think of any topic or thing that you are worried about.
2) Say the following to yourself …. ” I am worried about my finances”
and see how this feels inside.
3) Now say to yourself…… “I am concerned about my finances”
What I have noticed, is that the great majority of people will say that the second phrase feels better to them. When asked why, they often don’t seem to know why. It just feels better and less stressful and worrisome to them.
When I did this experiment myself, I have to admit that it was difficult to pinpoint what was going on, but somehow it seemed liked the energy was coming from a different place inside.
It almost seemed that if I were “concerned” about something, it was as if I had made note of it, and would be in the process of coming back to it with a plan to act upon it. Whereas when I found myself being “worried” about something, it felt like I was spinning in my tracks and not getting anywhere with no plan to address whatever was causing me distress.
A Surprising Test Of The Method
When I explored what was going on with clients, I asked some of them the following very interesting question:
If you had a choice to work for one of the following two bosses, which one would you choose? Would you pick the one who was telling you everything that they were worried about, or would you pick the one that was telling you what they were concerned about?
Almost universally and very quickly, clients would tell me that they would much rather prefer working for a boss that would be telling them what he / she was concerned about!
Doesn’t it make us nervous just imagining working for someone who is telling us all the things that they are worried about? Can almost feel the nervous energy from the start and can’t help but wondering how stressful it might be working under these conditions.
Start Using Concern Today!
And you need never worry another day or moment for the rest of your life!
You will be surprised to hear yourself speaking about how you are “concerned” about this or that, and that you somehow find yourself feeling better. You can’t quite put your finger on it, but darn if it doesn’t feel better somehow.
And you will notice it even more when you look at other people who are saying the word “worry”, and you will possibly look at them and see how “worried” and distressed they look.
But for you…. you may not even be able to remember the last time you “worried”. And quite frankly you will probably not miss it one bit.
What have you got to lose ….. but your worries!
Become “concerned” today!
Wait ….There’s More!
The Antidote to Worry!
This part is short and sweet, but highly effective if we are mindful of how it works.
Are you ready for the antidote to worry?
You might not like it …..
It’s simple though, but it works …… if you remember to use it
Okay, here it is …….
If there’s something you can do ….. do it! If there’s nothing you can do …. let it go!
Simple ….. but sometimes so difficult to remember and implement!
Want a reminder …… think of that certain slogan by that certain running shoe company. Or let it go!
What do you get if you use these methods and they ACTUALLY work???
PEACE OF MIND!!!
There is no greater reward that I can think of.
When is the last time you felt “peace of mind”.
Wouldn’t it be a nice thing to give to yourself and those around you?
If you find these techniques helpful, please pass them along and help to end
Please note: If you find that you are unable to control your worrying and anxiety, then you may find it helpful to consult a therapist or a medical professional. You need not suffer in silence. Help is available.
This is not going to be your typical article on how to reduce stress. If you are hoping to find information on the top 10 or 23 ways to cut down on your stress levels, then this won’t be the article for you. Save yourself some time and go here now.
BUT if you are wanting to dig deeper, and get to the possible underlying causes for some of your stress that you may not even be aware of, then read on!
I am going to probe deeper and go further!
Not focusing onHOW to deal with stress, but WHY we get stressed!
The AIM is to DEFUSE the sources of stress so you won’t be stressed in the first place!
Demands = Stress!
Unwittingly, every day, most of us go through life not realizing the unconscious demands that we place upon ourselves, the people around us, and the world. It may be something as simple as expecting that the local pizza place will make good on it’s “promise” to deliver our
pizza in “30 minutes or it’s free!”
Now this may seem like a silly example to start with. But how often do we find ourselves getting upset, frustrated, or even angry because we “believed” somebody’s promise to us
A promise we probably shouldn’t have believed in the first place!
And we turn that promise into a DEMAND of how we EXPECT the world to work!
If we stop to think about it. Does the local pizza place have control over traffic patterns, possible accidents, and the weather just to name a few key elements, that would be necessary to deliver on this “promise” every single time?
I have an idea what you might be thinking at this time …..
I don’t really believe that I can get my pizza in a half hour every time, but there is a chance that I could get a free pizza out of it!
Demands Sneak Up On Us!
The possibility of a free pizza would be great once in awhile! But the problem is: don’t we find ourselves getting impatient and “STRESSED” when we find out that we may NOT get our pizza within the “promised” time?
It kind of creeps up on us doesn’t it? We know we shouldn’t believe or take in the promise of a pizza ALL the time within a half hour, but right now we are hungry! And we “want”, no we “DEMAND” that they live up to their promise! And there you have it …. a very significant
source of STRESS in our lives: DEMANDS!
Demands creep into our lives in many different ways and under many different contexts. There may be very little difference between a DEMAND and an EXPECTATION.
Buddhists might say: If you want to know if you have any expectations, thennotice if you are feeling frustrated, and there you will find them!
Anger is nothing more than an outward expression of hurt, fear and frustration.Dr.Phil
And as Dr. Phil so eloquently points out in the quote above, the problem with frustration is that it leads to anger! And one could easily say that when one is feeling “angry”, then one is most certainly feeling “stressed”.
It is as if this chain of causality, and of how things “should” be, start to gather steam inside of us. So instead of merely picking up the phone and ordering a pizza and saving ourselves the time and energy of needing to make supper for the family. Instead we end up with a load of frustration, irritation and possibly anger that ends up ruining our dinner and possibly our night.
Just because we let ourselves be seduced into a promise of a pizza in 30 minutes or it was free!
And we took that promise and turned it into a demand!
What if we just ordered the pizza and we got it when we got it?
And if we didn’t get it within a reasonable time, then we wouldn’t order from them again?
WHAT? No getting flustered? No getting stressed? No being worried or consumed if we don’t get our pizza in the promised time? No balling someone out because they didn’t live up to a promise they made to us???
I’m not sure I can live in that type of world you say!
You mean: A world with less stress?
Is your losing your cool at them, and yelling at them in front of your wife and family going to make anyone feel good, including you?
You seem uncertain for a bit…..
Well…. Are you saying to just let things happen and not to have any expectations whatsoever?
No! I am suggesting that we live in the world as it is.
Learn how things “really” work. And not allow ourselves to lose our precious peace of mind just because somebody made a promise they didn’t have a hope in hell of keeping, just so they could get our business over some other pizza place!
Wouldn’t that make for a better night?
Well, yeah, I guess…. so how do I do it?
Watch your mind. See how it moves and makes connections. See how it forms expectations and then converts them to demands. And then becomes Judge, Jury, and Executioner if those demands are not met!
Okay, it’s worth a try you say. So when should I expect to get my pizza then?
Please come this way. This is a drawing board. Yes, I know we’ve been here before. Many times!
How To Know We Are Making Demands?
Basically when you notice that you are starting to feel tense and stressed, and thinking that things “should” be other then they are, that is when you are likely making demands. Any time we are feeling that life, or anybody “should” be other then they are, then we are not flowing with what is, and more importantly, we are at risk of not adapting to what is.
Seeing the connection between our making demands and feeling stressed, is for more then when we periodically order pizza!!!
This approach will hopefully help you in your everyday interactions with your spouse or loved ones, family, friends, co-workers, the people we interact with in the outside world and ourselves.
So in a nutshell, when can we use this?
ALL THE TIME, EVERYDAY, AND EVERY MOMENT OF OUR LIVES!
Here it is…… The following seemingly innocent words often lay behind our deepest and most troubling DEMANDS that we make in life:
ALL of these words are rigid and inflexible and will likely cause resistance and stress in our daily interactions. Don’t take my word for it! Try each one out, and see how inflexible, how tense and how stressed you feel while using them! Ultimately, there is a “true” alternative to making and creating DEMANDS in our lives. The answer to making demands in our lives is to opt for having PREFERENCES! I will post an article about the benefits of having preferences over demands in our lives in the near future. Check back later.
If you want to reduce stress in your life, then start looking for the places where you have allowed stressful “demands” to creep into your thoughts and worlds.
Ask yourself….. Is this something that I am demanding, or preferring?
And then you may find yourself to not only better deal with stress, but able to significantly reduce stress in your life!
Let me know what you thought of this article, and please feel free to suggest topics that are of interest to you!