How To Live Life Free Of Stress An Interview With Joe Di Maggio

Stress! Everyone can relate to​ that overwhelming feeling. it​ creeps up on​ you​ at​ work,​ at​ home,​ sometimes even on​ your vacation. How can one impact this? How can one end the​ vicious cycle of​ stress?

As a​ Senior Program Leader for Landmark Education,​ an​ international training and development company,​ I lead courses for hundreds of​ people on​ a​ monthly basis. the​ people that attend our programs are there to​ create breakthrough results in​ the​ areas of​ their life that matter most,​ including career,​ relationships,​ and productivity. Each person brings his or​ her own set of​ life experiences to​ the​ course. However,​ one commonality that I often find among participants is​ that they feel STRESSED. They are stressed about their jobs,​ their kids,​ responsibilities,​ schedules,​ and on​ and on. Many participants,​ including extremely successful individuals,​ communicate that they sometimes feeling overwhelmed by what they have to​ deal with in​ their day-to-day lives,​ and they don’t know what to​ do about it.

In today’s world,​ it​ is​ clear that stress can have an​ enormous negative impact on​ people. it​ ultimately robs us of​ our ability to​ operate at​ our maximum potential and to​ enjoy life fully. When coaching participants about stress in​ Landmark Education’s courses,​ I often share the​ following ways to​ begin to​ interrupt the​ natural progression of​ stress:

Give yourself room. it​ is​ helpful to​ remember that it​ is​ completely natural to​ experience stress from time to​ time. When this happens,​ allow yourself time and space to​ experience just how you​ are being impacted. a​ natural response to​ serious events,​ or​ numerous events that require your attention at​ the​ same time,​ is​ to​ sometimes become numb or​ distracted. This takes away our ability to​ experience for ourselves what is​ actually happening. Reacting is​ natural. Be clear that there is​ nothing wrong in​ being affected by the​ events of​ the​ day. It’s natural to​ have reactions. at​ the​ same time,​ you​ do not need to​ be limited by them.

People need to​ create a​ distinction between what stress is​ and what causes it. Stress is​ not based upon outside sources but rather how we perceive a​ circumstance and then react to​ it. Observe your reaction. the​ key here is​ to​ react appropriately to​ “what’s really happening” rather than “overreacting.” How does one know if​ he or​ she is​ overreacting? you​ can begin by making a​ distinction between “what’s actually happening” versus “what you​ think about what’s happening.” Here’s an​ example: you​ are busy at​ your job working hard to​ make a​ deadline. Then,​ unexpectedly,​ your wife calls to​ tell you​ that one of​ your sons was stung by a​ bee and has to​ go the​ doctor and she needs someone to​ watch your other children. Your first reaction is​ to​ overreact: “It is​ always something,​ I can’t catch a​ break,​ my wife should have been watching the​ kids more closely,​ I am going to​ miss my deadline and my boss will be furious,​ etc.” Your stress and frustration begin to​ mount. This is​ when you​ must consciously decide to​ distinguish between a) what happened and b) what you​ are thinking about what happened. in​ that moment,​ you​ will see that all that is​ happening is​ that your son has a​ bee sting and needs to​ be treated and you​ need to​ find someone to​ watch your children. you​ will see that everything else is​ just part of​ your reaction. as​ your stress subsides,​ you​ will remember your neighbor and best friend is​ on​ home on​ vacation. you​ will call him and ask him to​ watch your children and he will accept. the​ crisis will be handled and your stress will disappear. When you​ recognize that you​ are simply reacting -- perhaps even overreacting -- you​ will expand your view and ultimately find additional power in​ the​ face of​ stress.

Another thing that I have noticed is​ that most people experience stress when they are feeling like something is​ out of​ their control. There are many demands and expectations that are placed on​ each of​ us,​ from others and from ourselves,​ and we often fall into the​ trap of​ mistaking these expectations as​ the​ way things should or​ must go. to​ deal with stress that results when our expectations go unfulfilled,​ we invite participants in​ our Landmark Education courses to​ try letting themselves be 100% present to​ a​ situation to​ watch the​ events unfold rather than trying to​ force those events to​ conform exactly to​ their expectations. For example,​ even if​ we know better,​ we expect people to​ do exactly what they say they will do by the​ time at​ which they say they will do it. Therefore,​ when people fall short of​ doing what they said,​ our unfulfilled expectations leave us upset and stressed. We may even blame them for our feeling so upset. This over reaction then leaves us stuck in​ the​ middle of​ how things should have gone things went. This robs us of​ the​ power to​ deal with what needs to​ be accomplished with the​ available resources at​ hand.

You have a​ say. While there are events in​ life that we cannot alter,​ one thing that always remains in​ our control is​ who we are going to​ be in​ the​ face of​ those events. Where are you​ standing regarding the​ events that are taking place? Focus your attention on​ what you​ are committed to​ -for yourself and others- and take action based on​ that. By doing this,​ you​ will experience more freedom and clarity,​ and your actions will make more of​ a​ difference.

Ultimately,​ when people experience stress,​ they are simply reacting to​ life not working out the​ way they want or​ expect. Becoming aware of​ what is​ really happening -- separating what happened from our story or​ interpretation about what is​ happening -- allows us to​ discover that much of​ what we considered already determined,​ given or​ fixed,​ may in​ fact not be. Situations that may have been challenging or​ stressful can become more fluid and open to​ change. We find ourselves no longer limited by a​ finite set of​ options,​ but able to​ stand committed,​ not stuck. This can create new levels of​ ease and enjoyment. you​ may actually surprise yourself and find areas in​ your life where you​ have said good-bye to​ stress!

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