This morning, one of my children who will remain nameless, was moving very, very, very slowly, despite my efforts to motivate them. This of course stressed me out & the slower they moved the more stressed I became. My mental conversation went something like this: they don’t have enough time to eat breakfast, they’re not wearing socks, where did I get the idea that having children would be an idyllic experience, why am I more amped about late than this child, why didn’t they set their alarm, it’s too early in the day to be this stressed out . . . .
There were lots more things that ran through my mind but you get the general gist.
Some of our stress is self-inflicted & we can learn, grow & hopefully avoid these in the future. Some of our stress, however, is from the outside & sometimes unavoidable. So what to do in these situations? Here are a few ideas that might help:
- Pause & step back from the situation to assess: Could I be overreacting? Is my behavior making the situation worse? What is a possible root cause for this stress?
- Close your eyes & take a deep breath: sometimes this can clear our mind enough to give us some healthy perspective
- Walk through: remind yourself that this stress is likely limited in time & will have a conclusion if you keep going (avoidance usually makes it worse)
- Pray: ask for divine help to navigate & have strength to overcome without being overcome
Consider that stress can be a useful instrument to help us grow into stronger people. This quote helps me think in a more constructive way about stress:
“The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places.” Hemingway