Stress is like a cockroach

Most likely you feel stress. Some days more, some days less, some people more, some people less, but we pretty much all feel it. Here is a good definition from Hans Selye, M.D.: “a nonspecific response of the body to a demand.

Note the word “nonspecific”. Stress gets its power from being fuzzy and undefined. It lives in the shadows and doesn’t like the light. If you shine the light of your focused thoughts on it, it will try to hide and often just fade away.

Try this the next time you feel stressed or overwhelmed: just sit down and think about exactly what is bothering you.

You don’t have to pretend things aren’t bad if they really are. You don’t have to say “it will be OK” if you don’t believe it. Just think about what is likely to happen. Think about the worst possible thing that could happen. Try to figure out what is bothering you – what is causing these feelings. Don’t try to solve it, just think about it, turn it over in your mind, look at it from all sides. Feel it as intensely as you can. Embrace it. Wallow in it. Stand in front of a mirror and talk to yourself like you were explaining it to a friend – help them understand exactly why were are feeling this way.

You will often find that the emotions you feel are in excess of the actual facts – sometimes significantly so. Stress is that way. It is gets its power from being undefined, unclear, fuzzy, nonspecific. Shine your light on it and don’t let it be like that for you.


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