If you are still trying to figure out how to deal with stress and anxiety effectively I have the single most important strategy. Ready? Here goes….
Focus On The One Thing You Can Control
The Only Thing You Can Control
There is only one thing in life that you can truly control and that is yourself. If you don’t believe me make a list of all the things and people that you think you can control. What you will find is that the people you think you have control over are actually choosing to co-operate with you. You might think you have control of your finances, but a pandemic, a bush fire, or a health emergency can upset that perceived control very quickly. You only have control over your car while you are driving it safely but even then someone could cross over into your lane and wipe you out.
I would have saved myself years of wasted effort if I had known this while I tried to control my ex-husband.
Are you wasting your precious time stressing out and becoming anxious over things that you have no control over? Even though you know logically that your upset and angst is not going to change a situation one iota, do you seem to believe that your response is justified and maybe even required?
Responding to a situation with excessive stress and anxiety does have some rewards. It may be a matter of principle for you. If you see injustice and violence you may have an underlying belief that requires you to be deeply affected because that is how you believe a good, righteous and caring person would respond. So you are behaving in line with your thoughts about yourself, even though those thoughts are causing you to feel awful emotionally, and maybe even physically.
Another payoff for your chosen behaviour, and yes, all behaviour is chosen, is the sympathy and attention you will elicit from people who care about you. You can even join groups on Facebook and have strangers engage with you sympathetically.
But I do Not Want to Feel Life This!!
Feelings do not occur in a vacuum. Feeling are created from behaviours and one of your most important behaviours is your thinking. All behaviours are chosen to meet one of the five basic needs, that everyone has to varying degrees: Survival, Love and Belonging, Fun, Freedom and Power (acknowledgement and achievement). The good news is that if you don’t like the way you are feeling, it is possible to change your behaviours and especially your thoughts.
Let’s Put it into Practice
So the question is: what is the primary need are you trying to meet by stressing and becoming anxious over something that you cannot control? Take the Pandemic for example.
If you are stressed out and anxious over the pandemic, it is possibly because your survival needs have been threatened. There is nothing you can do about the pandemic, but there are things you can do about your survival needs during a pandemic: –
- You could stay home as much as possible;
- You could maintain social distancing, wear a mask and hands when you are out;
- You can do everything you can to pandemic proof your finances;
- You can be vigilant over your thoughts to remain optimistic, peaceful and grateful for all that is still right in the world;
- You can maintain all your good physical health practices especially exercise because of the endorphins it produces.
It Is Enough
Only being able to control yourself in a great big world might not seem like much but it is plenty. Understanding what your biggest needs are and learning how best to meet them is the key to maintaining your wellbeing no matter what is going on around you. You may not be able to have everything you want but you can generally have everything that you need. There are so many different ways to meet you needs once you understand what they are.
You can download a Needs Profile Checklist in the sidebar. This will show you the needs that are most important to you and that are most likely to cause you stress and anxiety if they are not met successfully. If you’re serious about dealing with your stress and anxiety download the checklist and I’ll email you more information on how to successfully meet your needs.
If you have been through the Needs Profile and you would like more support in managing your stress and anxiety check out our course: How to Deal with Stress and Anxiety Effectively.
Thanks for reading 😊
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