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Stress Management: What Role Do I Play?

Posted on 22 Jun 2016 in General, S.O.S Video Blog | 0 comments

Sometimes we feel unlucky and wonder if the world is really against us. The boss criticized our work. We’re living beyond our means. We’re stressed. So, what role do we play with all of this stuff?


According to the American Psychological Association, the top two sources of stress are job stress and financial pressure. But maybe, the number one source of stress in your life is…you.

Sure, the boss might criticize your work, and you feel stressed. You may have more month left than you have money, and you feel stressed. But it isn’t necessarily the event, it may be your thoughts and beliefs about the event, that creates the emotional reaction, and the stress.

So stress isn’t just what happens to you, it’s also your interpretation. Most events are neutral – but we attach meaning to the events with our thoughts and beliefs.

Take snow for instance, I live in Minnesota. I have chosen to live in Minnesota. When I was a child and it snowed, it was fun…snowball fights, sledding, skiing, snowmobiling…you get the point. Now as an adult and it snows…I battle slow traffic, schedule delays, cold temperatures, and frozen windshield wipers. Minnesota winters and snow haven’t changed. As an event, it is neutral.

However, I need to be aware that my thoughts and beliefs may have changed and so may have my reaction. When I combine the neutral event with negative thoughts and beliefs it can lead to stress.

If I self-monitor my thoughts, and recognize irrational beliefs and negative self-talk, I will be able to minimize my catastrophic fantasies and neutralize my stress.
And…enjoy the beautiful snowfall and a delicious cup of hot chocolate.

Life events are neutral. They happen to everyone. It is our own thoughts and beliefs that can make them stressful…or not.

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