Today we ask that you examine your stress response.
Are you someone who gets very worked up over things? Or are you someone who stays calm?
One is not superior to the other. In fact, the calm person may be suppressing emotion in an unhealthy way.
The key to a healthy stress response is as follows:
Give yourself permission to feel the feeling. Anxiety, frustration, anger, helplessness — whatever comes up for you. Give yourself permission to feel the feeling.
Then ask: “How can I feel better?”
You do not need to answer this question. Just keep asking it.
So there are two steps.
First, you give yourself permission to feel the feeling.
Second, you ask: “How can I feel better? or “How can this situation get better?”
If you keep asking, an answer may occur to you. Or else you will suddenly find that you feel better.
This is a very simple process. But if you remember to do this when you encounter stressful stimuli, it will cut down significantly on your physical stress response.
The physical stress response is the cause of much mental and physical illness. It is also the cause of much strife between people.
A healthy stress response is in proportion to what is happening. If you are in a life or death situation, a strong stress response is useful.
But if you are having an intense stress response from sitting in traffic or reading a text message, then this is harmful. It is harmful to you, and it is harmful to those around you.
So it is good to develop a practiced response to stress.
When a stressful situation arises, give yourself permission to feel what you are feeling. And really give yourself time to feel the feeling — do not gloss over this part. Do not suppress the feeling. Give yourself permission to feel what you are feeling.
Then ask: “How can I feel better?” or “How can this get better?”
Keep asking until the situation improves. You will find that it almost always does. If it does not, let yourself feel the feeling again. Then simply ask, “How can I feel better?” or “How can this get better?”