Ki Moments Blog

Support for life’s “key” moments.

June 7, 2016

Single Most Important Thing To Manage Stress

Single Most Important Thing To Manage Stress

"The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another."
--William James, American psychologist

A good friend sent me a great YouTube link recently -- a visual lecture titled: The Single Most Important Thing You Can Do To Manage Stress, by Dr. Mike Evans.

Any guesses as to what the single most important thing might be? Possible contenders:

  • How much control you think you have in your life
  • Your social network (in the traditional sense)
  • Openness to change
  • Self care choices such as physical exercise, optimism, and humor

Dr. Mike thinks the single most important factor in managing stress is:

Changing the Way You Think

Most people think that stress is something that happens to us, but really we create stories about what happens to us:

  • My job is stressful.
  • This conversation will be hard.
  • I don't have a chance of passing this test.
  • That guy hates me!

And those stories create stress.

Stress management is a skill that can be learned.

And Dr. Mike suggests some ways to do this:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) -- learning to watch the stories you tell yourself about the events in your life and to tell yourself a different story.
  • Mindfulness Courses -- Breathing - Awareness - Meditation - Being in the moment - Letting go of worry.
  • Attitude/Outlook on life -- Seeing challenges as stepping stones not stumbling blocks.
  • Writing/Journaling -- writing your personal narrative.
  • Keep it Simple -- regular sleep, eating well, exercise, altruism.

And remember the 90/10 rule:

10% of how we do in life is based on what happens to us, and 90% is how we respond.

But, hey, invest 11 minutes and watch the video. It's graphically beautiful and fun.

"Challenges will always be out there -- that's life -- but your thoughts and attitudes are the key holders for the stress you experience."  -- Dr. Mike Evans

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