Thursday, August 15, 2013

Changing Your Stress Part 2

The first mindset in Part 1 we had to change  from "What If" to "So What."

The second mindset we have to change is from "Woe Is Me" to "What Can I Do About It."

The "Woe Is Me" attitude doesn't just creep in, it rushes in like a bull chasing runners.  Things are going fine, then all of a sudden you get some bad news or things did not work out in a situation, and you are immediately transported to "Woe Is Me."  We become agitated instantly.  Our ability to be rational is nonexistent at that moment.  We rehearse every bad experience from the past that lead us to this point. The challenges that we have dealt with for years, now seem like more than we can bare.

This happened to me recently.  I needed to go somewhere and I cannot drive because of my eyesight.  My wife, who is great, she always gets me where I need to be.  But she was working and I could not get where I needed to be.  Well I went into "Woe Is Me."  I was irrational and inconsolable for a time.  I have been dealing with my eyesight for 38 years, but at that moment it seemed like more than I could bare.

Well my wife, listened to me which I needed.  But then she kicked me in the pants, which I also needed, and she helped to change my attitude.  We went to from "Woe Is Me" to "What Can I Do About It."  The simple solution was a neighbor was willing to give me a ride.  It wasn't the solution I wanted but it was the solution. I went from helpless to an action.  The place I was going to was Streams Of Hope, a food pantry. I was able to serve many people that night that had challenges greater than mine.  It put life into perspective.

So how can we change from "Woe Is Me" to "What Can I Do About It?"

1. Realize you are panicking and going into the "Woe Is Me" mindset.  Are you pacing, raising your voice, mind rushing, upset, etc.  Just breathe and get control of your emotions.

2. Don't focus on the problem focus on a solution.

3. If no solution can be found after you have exhausted every option,  give yourself permission to not solve this problem.  This may be something I have to live with.  Surrender can be a very freeing attitude. If you don't like that phrase, what about trusting that things will work out for good.  If no ride was available I should have calmly called and told them I could not make it tonight and give my apologies.  Then  not worried about it.

4. Know that I have overcome this problem, or similar problems in the past.  If I did it before, I can do it again.

5. Keep the problem in perspective.  Although your problem is real and it means a great deal to you, as it should, there are others in the world who are suffering just as much.  Many are suffering much more.  Many times my problems vanish when I see someone going through something I could not imagine going through. Your problem doesn't change, it is still very real, but your focus changes.

6. Serve.  My attitude changed from "Woe Is Me" when I began to serve.  And even if I could not have gotten to Streams of Hope, I could have served my wife and daughter at home.  God forgive me that was not my initial attitude.

7. Realize I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  God made me this way for a reason.  I don't always see the reason.  But if I didn't have my challenges I would not be me.  They have made me who I am.  They have gotten me to this point.  If something is not right in my life, God has made me this way to notice it and with His help to change it.  And If I can't change the situation, God will change me.  That fearfully and wonderfully made is a continuation.  He is still working on me

8. Realize everyone can use a little help.  I needed my wife to solve this problem.  I needed my neighbor to solve this problem.  I needed Streams of Hope and those we served to solve this problem.  I get by with a little help from my friends.

9. Be thankful.  You know what, I got it pretty good in the big picture of things.

How about you?  What ways can you change your attitude from "Woe Is Me" to "What Can I do About It?"

Leave us a comment.


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