Stress does not hurt you: How you react to it does

The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.William James

We all cope with stress in different ways, but it all starts first and foremost with a decision. And while we cannot control much of what happens in work and in life; we can determine the impact events have on us by choosing how we respond.

Imagine for a moment that you are cooking dinner and amidst the flurry of preparation going on in the kitchen you place your hand on the hot stove.  OUCH!  Immediately you remove your hand to avoid any further discomfort.  After all, keeping your hand on a hot stove can only make the situation worse.

Oddly enough, when we find ourselves in emotional distress (versus physical distress), we often stay “stuck” in anguish mode.  This has a profound affect.  If we fail to shift our mindset it is like keeping our hand on a hot stove – it can only worsen the situation.

The next time you find yourself in distress, be careful choosing how to respond.  You can choose to initiate the snowballing, self-reinforcing perspective of anguish; or the snowballing, self-reinforcing perspective of happiness. Which would you rather guide you through life?