Friday, August 22, 2008

Coping with Stress

No matter how wonderful your life, there are always things that come along and cause us anxiety - your job, your family, your friends, the traffic and other circumstances. It is so easy to let your emotions take charge and blurt whatever you're feeling, and while this may be cathartic, it's not always appropriate or helpful.

I think the Serenity Prayer rather sums it up well - God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

While it might be momentarily satisfying to give your boss of that customer a piece of your mind, do you think having to go job hunting will make you feel better about the situation? Yes, it might feel great to tell your spouse to keep it all - the house, the kids, the mess, the bills and walk out the door, but do you think in the long run that will really make you happy? Sometimes, ending terminal relationships (particularly with friends who suck the life out of you) is a positive thing, but overall, we all have issues, and accepting the faults of others and maybe encouraging them to bettering themselves is a lot more fulfilling in the long run than becoming a hermit.

I think one of the hardest parts of handling stress is to accept that some things are out of our control - the bottom line is that in many situations, the only thing that you have control over and the ability to change is yourself and your response to the circumstances of your life. Learn to assign responsibility to the appropriate parties (responsibility, not blame) and move on. Life is too short to waste frustrated by things outside your influence.

Have a wonderful weekend!

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