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How Do I Get Rid of My Stress?
Most of us think that we have too much stress—And the answer to having a good life is to get rid of it all. But, that isn’t true.
Instead, we need to understand Stress Paradox #1—stress is really a sign of a meaningful life.
Getting rid of all the stuff you stress about would mean getting rid of what you care about in life.
You can use the How to Make Stress Your Superpower series to get great at stress on your own, or you can get help from me 1-on-1.
Whichever option you choose, you can finally master stress.
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How to Make Stress Your Superpower
Stress is bad news. It makes you sick, tired and can even kill you.
But what if there was an alternate reality where stress can be good for you—great, even?
Well, good news! That reality already exists.
To tap into its power, you need to learn the two paradoxes of stress.
Once you learn these, I can help you make stress your superpower.
Stress Paradox #1
Research shows that no matter what their stress levels, people think they're just too high. Even people who have low stress, they think they should have less.
Most people believe they should get rid of all of their stress.
And, that brings us to stress paradox number one, “If you have a meaningful life, you'll have a stressful life.”
What Research Says
You see, researchers asked US adults how much they agreed with this statement, “Taking all things together, I feel my life is meaningful.”
Then the researchers looked at what predicted meaning in these people's lives. Surprisingly, stress ranked super high.
People who had stressful pasts, they said their lives were meaningful. And, people who had stressful presents, they had meaningful lives too.
The researchers decided that, “People with very meaningful lives worry more and they have more stress…” Stress seems to be a consequence of pursuing goals and having roles that feed your sense of purpose.
That means you stress because you care.
You Stress Because You Care
Let me explain…
A few weeks ago I got a text from my sister who lives in San Diego. It said, “I heard about the tornadoes in Alabama. Are you okay?”
Well, I didn't know what she was talking about. We had had a lovely day that day in northern Alabama where I live.
So, I went back to what I was doing. I think I was actually working on this (video series).
But, then I had a thought, “I should Google this.”
So I did.
And it turned out that there were some devastating tornadoes in southern Alabama.
I felt sad for those people that were affected.
But, I got back to what I was doing.
Then, all of a sudden a new thought occurred to me, “Wait a minute, those tornadoes seem awfully close to Auburn, Alabama, (where my son is).”
He's going to college there. And all of a sudden, I felt stressed.
I didn't feel better for another hour until he finally texted me and told me he was okay.
I cared, and then I got stressed.
Lots to Care and Stress About
So, think about it…
You have lots of things in your life worth caring about. Things like work, parenting, relationships, caregiving, health.
Those are all the things you care about—and stress about. And, they bring meaning to your life.
Most of us don't choose our stress. and we can't get rid of all the things that are stressful—like our kids, our spouses, our homes, or our jobs.
Stress and Meaning Go Together
Not every stressor in your life is going to feel full of meaning. But if you look at your life as a whole, stress and meaning go together --like peanut butter and Jelly.
Stress can feel a bit crunchy at times.
And by itself, meaning can sometimes be sickly sweet.
But, if you put those together, you've got a mighty fine sandwich. I mean life. A mighty fine life.
Stress is OK
So, remember the truth of Stress Paradox #1—A meaningful life is a stressful life.
Feeling stressed doesn't mean anything's wrong with your life.
And, it doesn't mean you need to get rid of all that stress.
Instead, keep working towards your goals and keep loving on your loved ones—knowing that you've got a meaningful life.
What to Do Next
Want to DIY Getting Better at Stress?
If you need a little help with reframing your stress and getting good at it, check out my video/ blog post series. Next week, I’ll teach you Stress Paradox #2, so you can learn How to Make Stress Your Superpower.
Want Real Results Now?
If you’re done with DIY and want to fix your health and stress once-and-for-all, here’s what you should do:
We’ll map out your customized health and stress habit plan together.
Then, we’ll get started--finally succeeding one habit at a time.
With the Real Healthy Habits 6-week jumpstart program, your definition of health and stress management success can finally be a reality.
Until next time,
Kudos to Kelly McGonigal, PhD
I want to give a big shout out and a high five to Kelly McGonigal, PhD, the author of The Upside of Stress: Why Stress is Good for You and How to Get Good at It.
I read stacks and stacks of books on stress trying to figure out what to do about it. Kelly’s book was the only book that gave me hope and a true mindset shift that stress could be my superpower.
I hope that I’ve done (so many of) her ideas justice.
Hi, I’m Treva, your health and weight loss coach! I'm a dietitian, personal trainer, and health coach who can help you finally get healthy and lose weight for good.
I'll help you develop a health habit plan that is personalized for your body, your preferences, and your lifestyle, and then I’ll coach you until it’s all on auto-pilot.