Stress at work. Some people say that they benefit from it because it helps them to reach peak performance. Others say that they enjoy it because it makes them feel more alive. What about you? Do you need or enjoy stress or can you do without it?
Fact is, when I look around me, that most people don’t like stress, but they get plenty of it. So, what can you do to reduce stress and make your life more easy?
I have 3 suggestions.
1. Change what you can, accept what you cannot
Much of the stress we experience is the result of the things we want to change but cannot, especially when it involves others.
Which reminds me of this old, well known prayer, which some attribute to Saint Francis of Assisi and others to Reinhold Niebuhr, the theologian:
God, grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.
I know, accepting the things that you cannot change sounds easy but so often isn’t. Still, when you are confronted with a situation that irritates or frustrates you, ask yourself this question: can I change it without the help of others or not? If you can’t, leave it and in that moment, with that decision, your life already becomes more easy.
2. Leave problems for tomorrow
Have you ever noticed that if you don’t pay attention to a problem, because you don’t have time or simply forgot about it, that the problem often magically disappears or is taken care of by others?
I start to use this “magic” more consciously and it works like this. If I am confronted with a problem, I ask myself (i) can I do something about it and (ii) do I have to act on it now? If the answer to both questions is no, I will leave the problem for “tomorrow”. It may not sound like the macho thing to do, but it will definitely ease your life today and today is what counts because you live in the now, right?
Which brings me to the third suggestion that will help you reduce stress.
3. Don’t make other people’s problems, your problems
This is a big one and it took me many years to realize it. How often are you approached by people who share a problem with you and before you know it you are trying to solve it for them? Moreover, they get on your back and stress you out if you take too long to get their problem fixed.
It happened to me all the time, especially at work, until one day I asked myself why on earth I was making their problem mine?
Was it my ego that delighted itself in showing off how good of a problem solver I was? Or, did I just wanted to help because I am a nice person? Probably a combination of both. However, once I stopped trying to solve other people’s problems, my life became much, much, much more easy.
I know, this may trigger some beliefs you have about soul service, compassion, or your responsibility, but if that is the case you may want to read my post about helping others by not helping them.
How do you feel about these suggestions to de-stress and make your life more easy? Try them and see what happens. I look forward to hear from you and if you have suggestions yourself feel free to share them.