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Resiliency: Increasing your ability to deal with stress through challenging your thoughts

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Recently, I found the deeper truth “Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional” coming to me. There is a lot of stress that impacts us around this time of year, with the beginning of the new year and resolutions and intentions, the election results and division/conflict around that, and other seasonal stress and then the usual things that can create stress, such as family conflict, being a good parent/daughter/sister/employee/coworker (or son/brother as well).  What can we control?  How do we manage stress in such a way that our wellbeing is cared for and so that we are flourishing?  Life has certain difficulties inherent in it, but where are we adding stress through how we are thinking about what is happening?

Dealing directly with the actual situation, rather than just our thinking/interpretations of the situation, enables us to come up with better solutions. We don’t have to believe everything we think!  In fact, research done by Dr. Aaron Beck indicates that 90% of the thoughts that arise during anger are inaccurate.  Given that fact, if we take action based on these thoughts, we are bound to cause harm or act unskillfully.  Also, this increases our stress.

So, next time you are noticing stress, see if you can become aware of your thinking. Pay attention to the thoughts and record them.  Noticing your body can be helpful to do this, because if you get caught in thinking you will lose track of the thoughts and might get entranced by them.  For each thought, challenge it.  Is this the only possible explanation?  What else might be true? 

Focusing on your breath can also be a great combination with this thought challenge exercise. The anchor of the breath calms your nervous system down and allows you to access more helpful solutions and your best capabilities and potential and help you align with your most important values.

It is sometimes hard to do this alone. A coach can be helpful.  Please contact me for assistance and we can get you on the road to great stress relief and achievement of your goals (727-215-2039,  Also, you can check out testimonials from others who have worked with me as a coach by clicking here.