Defeat Stress and Negativity

Stress levels for most people are at an all-time high these days. But does the greatest stress come from natural causes, or do PEOPLE prompt their greatest stress?

Upon reflection, I believe you will find that a NATURAL DISASTER or other negative circumstance stimulates us to think, “What can I do now?” and “What are my options?” However, when a SOMEONE ELSE does or says something that stimulates us in a negative manner, we may not think of our options. We simply suffer—allowing the unintentional, selfish, or cruel comment to actuate depressing feelings. So often, we allow ourselves to become victims without even realizing it. We create a life of stress instead of a life of joy.

As I state in my book, monkeys know enough not to chew on the skin of a banana; they eat only the healthy part. We humans, however, so often chew on the unhealthy skin. It need not be.

We have the ability to change our thinking and our subsequent feelings and level of stress. I learned a strategy to help me do this in a very interesting way. When I first started speaking professionally and for a number of years thereafter, I would pass out evaluation forms. More often than I had anticipated, I would read one evaluation completely unlike all of the others and wonder if this evaluator attended the same seminar as the other people.

Rather than take a poor evaluation personally, I thought of how much this attendee missed. I learned that an evaluation is at least as much a reflection of the person doing the evaluation as the person being evaluated.

So, if someone communicates to you in a way that prompts a negative feeling, rather than chew on this unhealthy message and create unwarranted stress in your life, take what you can learn from it and discard the rest—just as a smart monkey would do. As my mother used to say to me, “Always consider the source.” When you do, you’ll be on your way to living a life without stress.