Nope. My life is perfect.
From kids and family to finances to work, and that Thanksgiving feast we're cooking tomorrow, we all have some amount of stress. And, if you live in a congested area like me (I call Northern Virginia home), then you might add driving to your list of stressors! ;)
In all seriousness, I don't have nearly the amount of stress that I used to. I've seen lots of folks struggling lately with stress and thought I'd take the opportunity to share the top four tips that help me.
Challenge Your Perspective
We are most comfortable when we are with others that share our thoughts, positions, values, and perspectives. Hence, when we're challenged, we get uncomfortable, sometimes take offense, and arguments may ensue.
When you find yourself getting stirred up, consider challenging your own perspective. Ask yourself how true the assumption/thought is.
Accept What Is
Stress is wanting things to be different than they are.
Think about the things that stress you out. Your kids? Or spouse? Coworkers? Boss? Every time you get upset or get triggered by something that one of these folks do, it is likely because you want the situation to be different. Maybe you want your spouse to contribute to the house more. Maybe you want your kids to stop arguing. Maybe you want your boss to stop giving you tasks at 5 PM on Fridays. And you want your coworkers to work as hard as you. So think about how life would be different; how much less stress you would have, if you just accepted things as they are.
Easier said than done, but it can be done.
Striving for excellence is always a good thing. But striving for perfection is unrealistic. There are times when you will do things perfectly. You know your stuff and things will go flawlessly. Having said that, perfection should not be a benchmark. Seeing ourselves as "perfect" creates a hierarchy between us and others. When someone else messes up, we think less of them and put pressure on ourselves to do more. When we're more compassionate and forgiving of ourselves and our inevitability to err, then we have more room to show compassion and forgiveness to others, thereby relieving some stress.
Find a trusted friend, mentor, or confidant with whom to discuss things that you find stressful. Regardless of who you choose and what role they play in your life, be objective to their feedback. No one is perfect (see above). Sometimes it takes someone outside of a situation to help us see what we’re missing. We just have to be willing and open to hear it.
Cheers to reduced stress. Now go get prepping for Thanksgiving! ;)
Be open to what comes.