I’ve had some recent conversations regarding stress and worry that made me think more about my own personal relationship with these two destructive things. One person was telling me how they take stress from the job home and how that impacts his wife and kids, which from my experience, is quite common. I too use to bring home the stresses of my business, which absolutely impacted the relationship with my wife and my own general quality of life.
The interesting thing was I would always react the same way to stress, and that was to blame and get angry at those people that were causing the stressful problems/ situations in my life. What if we shift our thinking though, and look at the only thing we can change in the equation…which is ourselves? We know it’s hard, but I think most of us know that we cannot change others, we can beat our heads against a wall trying to change what someone else does or thinks…but nine times out of ten it does not work.
So, after thinking about these recent conversations and looking back over the last year or so in my own life, what I realized I have done was to shift my thought on stress and worry.
Number one, we have to always remember that stressing and worrying truly does not solve anything, in fact, it only makes things worse (this is an absolute fact). If I notice myself starting to stress I recite this to myself and take some nice deep breaths, it definitely helps. Sometimes I will turn on music that is fun and reminds of fun things or times, stuff that relaxes me…like Bob Marley, Zac Brown Band, or Jimmy Buffett. Other times I may go outside for a breath of fresh air, maybe do a quick mini work out, or call my wife and chat with her to get things off my chest. Find the things that work for you and do them, religiously.
Number two, prioritize: this has been huge for me to reduce stress and worry. What I mean by prioritize is actually quite simple, take money and work out of your mind for a minute and list the three most important things in the world to you. Mine are my relationship with my wife, engaging with people (this includes family and friends, so everyone calm down), and exploring cultures. My rule is that I will not allow others, or myself, to take away from the joy that these three things give me. I don’t work at a nuclear power plant nor am I a brain surgeon, if my customers get stressed out and attempt to stress me out…I always remember that everything will be ok, everything is fixable, and there is always tomorrow. My three most important things rule my life, not my customers.
Number three, and the last thing in my journey to remove stress from my life is to remember that other people are not the cause of you stressing out…although it is always more fun to blame others for our own issues. The only person that “makes” stress in your life is you, because it is how you perceive the situation and react to it, period. Bob can’t stress me out unless I give Bob the key to enter that part of my brain…no key, no entry, therefore no stress. This may be too simple for some, but guess what, it IS that simple. You can be the person that makes all the excuses like, “you don’t understand I have deadlines”, “my boss will fire me”, or whatever other ammo (excuse) you want to toss my way…but at the end of the day that is still YOU allowing those people access to stress you out. Just say no!
I’ve been told before that I have a simplistic view on things like this, and it’s true…I do. But aren’t things hard enough without us overcomplicating it? I say, hell yes, and besides that…life is short, choose to live the way YOU want to live. Take ownership of you and what is going on inside your bubble. If you are having a bad day, guess what, your fault. And it’s the same with stress, worry, or anything else. I still slip up and have bad moments or days, but I am accountable for that and I always resort back to the above list of actions in order to get my butt back on track, and you should do the same because there will come a day when your life will end, it is up to you to fill the moments between now and then with the LIFE that YOU want! Cheers!