Stress and control
If you think better, you will find that stress generally arises in situations where we have no control and therefore feel insecure.
In most situations, feelings of vulnerability occur because of unpredictability, inability to control and inability to be in a state of psychophysical relaxation.
There are many moments in the day when we feel like it: traffic jams (inability to cross the car by car and arrive on time for an appointment), circumstances where we do not know how to find a job, and barely survive, inability to convey to our partner the views, feelings and perceptions of some situations and conditions, inability to change what bothers us with partners, meetings where important decisions are made, and we are not the only ones who decide, coming to the store and realizing that a certain food item has gone up by 30% without our will, losing a key and inability to we get into a car or apartment.
All these situations contain uncertainty. Mostly it is something we did not expect and plan, and which disrupts our safety and balance, which we were in until then. Something happens that disturbs our balance and knocks us out of tact. We lose our sense of control and security, and at that moment the survival mechanism “fight or flee” is activated. Each of us reacts differently. One freezes and does not know what to do next, one reacts violently; he blows, gets out of the car, threatens, maybe even gets beaten, someone starts crying with despair and feeling that he is unable to change the situation and that someone else is managing his life.
The healthiest reaction is to stop for a few moments, take a deep breath and realize that what is happening is happening and think about what we can do to bring the situation back into balance.
I will give an example when we get stuck in a column and are late to an important agreement. There are only two possibilities that caused this situation and created stress for us. The first is that we did not start on time enough to anticipate that crowds, tram stops or roadworks may occur and are actually an integral part of city life. If we admit to ourselves that we have made too many commitments and want to do everything on time, and then the work on the railway has disturbed our plan, we realize that we are guilty of not arriving on time. Maybe someone will say that he had to fulfill all these obligations and could not do otherwise. In this case, one has to ask whether he has realistic demands on himself and the time of day or sets unrealistic goals and puts himself in stress. We may need to learn to plan our time and responsibilities better. However, if we realize that there really could not have been any other way and that the only possible version of how the day should have taken place was that it happened, then the works on the railway should not be a cause of stress, because it is something that is beyond our control. Therefore, you can explain calm souls what happened and why you are late for a meeting without having a sense of guilty conscience and the idea that someone will perceive you as an irresponsible person.
In other words, if you are 100% sure that you did everything right that day, then this emergency is something that should not be thrown out of your mind. If you are really at peace with yourself because you know you have done your best, then you can explain why you are late without being stressed.
So the second version of why this happened is; because it had to happen. 🙂
These are normal life situations. We cannot change the situation, but we can choose how we respond to it. We can say: Okay, what’s up, I did my best, but I still didn’t get there. Let me see what I can do next.
Instead of wasting your energy thinking why something didn’t work out as you imagined it and who’s to blame, start thinking about how to remedy the situation and return to balance.
Focus your attention on fixing the problem, not the problem that has arisen and the limitations that have emerged in the moment. To solve the problem, we must rise above it and look at it from a broader perspective. Problems are normal life situations that are solvable and ask us for new ways of looking at life, changing habits, spreading perceptions, new ways of responding. All that creates stress is the challenge to grow in cognition and begin to change.
Remember that sometimes the Universe knows better than you why you didn’t arrive in time for that meeting.