People ask me all the time, “Can you help me manage my stress?” And then they answer before I can open my mouth, “No, I just need to handle things better..not let it bother me…buckle down harder.”
And then I immediately say, “Nope that’s not it at all. You can’t manage stress.”
Stress is the result of what happens when things change. It occurs whether the change is perceived as bad (illnesses, cancelled flights, broken appliances, death, divorce) or good (weddings, new babies, new homes, promotions, vacations).
We waste a lot of our energy trying to stop or minimize these changes which is, you know, stressful!
Sure you can try to make things easier but you can’t stop the train. But, we all try. We’re human. Problem solving is what our big, evolved brains are built to do. We force solutions, convince people to do it differently, manipulate the outcome. We do all this hoping that we can manage the change and it’s exhausting, overwhelming, frustrating and, well–stressful.
What’s the answer?
Learn to manage how you respond to change. Stop trying to change what’s changing and begin practicing new ways of living with the change.
That’s what coaching helps you do – it shifts the way you think about change.
You learn over time, by practicing small shifts of behavior to respond to changes in ways that are less stressful and less harmful to you and those around you.