Stress happens when we perceive more challenge than support. When we are seeing too many roadblocks and not enough green-lights. Stress can happen at work, at home, in traffic, where ever and whenever we perceive things to not be going our way.
We perceive things are not going our way.
At this point we feel we need some kind of relief, some kind of pleasure to let go of the stress.
But this only temporarily changes how we feel. And these temporary pleasures or stress reliefs also come with a new form of stress, and so the cycle goes on and on.
So why don’t we just deal with the root of the problem.
Is it really the external circumstances that are causing the stress?
This question may piss you off but I’ll ask you to give me a chance to explain.
When I was in my 20s I used to find driving extremely stressful. My perception was that I needed to be the most efficient driver, more so than anybody else. I was going to drive places faster and more efficiently than everyone. I felt as if as soon as I was in the car “I should” be there in less than 15 minutes. I was putting a lot of pressure on myself. And so when there was a traffic jam I started freaking out, losing my composure, trying to hold myself to an unrealistic expectation.
Was it the traffic causing my stress, No, it was my own thinking, my perception causing the stress.
Now when I drive my perception of the traffic has completely changed. Because I have a strong love of learning (I’m an info junkie), I see the traffic as an opportunity to focus on and listen to the latest audiobook that I’m into.
If we are living a fulfilling life, a life where we perceive challenges as opportunities, stepping stones, necessary events on the way to our goals, then we actually enjoy the stress, this has been called Eustress. Stress you can USE.
If we are able to switch our perceptions from negative stress to positive stress, we can use the stress to our advantage, to our fulfillment.
And If we are feeling fulfilled in our life we have much less desire or craving for temporary pleasures “bad habits” that come with “negative” consequences such as hangovers, overeating, etc.
To learn more about dealing with stress and bad habits, book a free 30 min chat with me here.