This first Blog looks directly at our thoughts and some things we can ask ourselves to help us prevent stress:
- Is the threat real? What is the perceived threat? What is the likelihood of this perceived threat actually happening? What is the chance of its occurrence? (Almost always the answer to this is that the threat is rarely going to hurt us.)
- Can I handle this? (Our past experience tells us that we can always handle things)
- Is the perceived threat one which I can do something about? Is it in my circle of concern or my circle of influence? (As one of my wise students once told me, “If you have control over it, there’s no need to worry about it. If you don’t have any control over it, you also don’t need to worry about it. There is nothing else. So why worry?)
- Can I think about this differently? There are hundreds of ways to interpret the situation differently. That is the wonderful thing about free will or our innate freedom to choose.
Sometimes we forget these things and the stress response turns on. When that does, we need specific ways of turning it off. This involves relaxation exercises and coping skills.
All of these things will be treated as we explore this exciting field of study that relates directly to you and me.