Stressful Questions: Is stress avoidable? Why are some more “stressed out” than others?

Tips on Avoiding and Preventing Stress

A journalist for a national newspaper recently sought my advice on these questions. During these challenging times, and going into the holiday season, we all might need a reminder on how to stress less.

1. In your opinion, is stress an unavoidable consequence of life?

DARREN HARDY: Stress is a part of life. Life requires stress. As a muscle needs resistance to grow stronger, so do we. Many times stress awakens our greater potential and makes us rise to the performance we were capable of all along, but we needed challenging.

As a muscle needs resistance to grow stronger, so do we.

2. Why do some people seem to “stress out” more than others? (Do some people just naturally tolerate stressors more easily than others?)

DARREN HARDY: Ultimately, stress is a mental illusion, an interpretation and a perception. What is stressful to one person is blissful to another. Heights might be stressful for one person, while free-falling out of an airplane is sheer bliss for another. Public speaking might completely debilitate one person, but be the most empowering activity possible for another. Losing $100,000 in the stock market might be less stressful for one person than having a bad hair day is for another. Stress is a mental perception, chosen by the perceiver.

3. Please give me five or six of your favorite tips for managing existing stress (assuming the stressors can’t be prevented).

1. Don’t major in minors. Ask yourself: In 20 years will this matter? Will I even remember this? If not, it is minor and don’t fret. Remember what you were stressed out about on October 21, 1988? My point exactly.

2. This too shall pass. There are ebbs and flows to life; some call them seasons. Spring follows winter. How regularly? EVERY time. Keep your mind on the spring that is coming as you move through the winter.

3. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Know this is the way of growth. The great trials of our lives awaken the greater potential inside of us. Welcome stress and difficulty, as they may be the alarm clock that awakens the greatness that lies sleeping inside.

4. “At least I don’t live in Bosnia.” I remember feeling stressed and sorry for myself one time in the past. I turned on the TV and saw images of the way people lived and suffered in Bosnia. I felt pretty guilty about my pitiful “stresses.” Now every time I think I have it bad or am feeling stressed I say, “Well, at least I don’t live in Bosnia – so this isn’t so bad after all.” If that doesn’t do it, read Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl. He depicts the level of stress the human condition can handle; yours is probably pretty minor in comparison.

5. Get over yourself! You are not the only one to experience stress, difficulty, frustration and pain. What happens to you happens to ALL of us. There is no conspiracy against you. We ALL experience hurt, disappointment, heartache, loss, failure, sadness, misfortune, setback, defeat, distress, despondency, despair… or whatever else is causing you stress.

Something I learned from Jim Rohn goes like this,

“It is not what happens to you that makes the difference in how your life works out. What happens to you happens to all of us. It’s how you respond to what happens to you that determines the major outcome of your life.”

4. Do you have five or six ideas for how to build resilience against stress or to prevent stress?

DARREN HARDY: Yes, … Click Here to read the answer

Darren Hardy is the former publisher of SUCCESS magazine, an entrepreneur and New York Times best-selling author of The Compound Effect and Living Your Best Year Ever: A Proven Formula for Achieving Big Goals.

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