I have noticed something lately – everyone seems to be really stressed out. Life can offer enough stressful situations, but some people seem to actively look for things to stress about. My hubby and I went to go workout at the YMCA the other day and I noticed a big advertisement for a stress management course. I started thinking about the fact that not everyone handles stress the same way. Attitudes can make a big difference in how we handle stress.
Lets look at two examples:
Example #1 – my hubby was recently laid off from work. I admit it was a shock and kind of scary, but my hubby and I are both pretty positive people so we tried to look on the bight side. First, they did offer a small severance package (1 month of salary plus paying out his accrued vacation time and also paying the bonus and commissions that he was owed). This meant we would have some money to get us through. Second, he was already considering leaving that job because his former company was increasingly frustrating to deal with. Third, he has a unique skill set and literally the first day he was off of work he was already getting phone calls from other companies and head-hunters, so now he just has to decide which position would be right for him. Losing your job is a genuinely stressful event, but having a good attitude makes the transition to a new job much easier.
I will admit – it was stressful at times, but my hubby and I do not take ourselves too seriously and we had fun teasing about him not having a job. We both are ‘glass half-full’ kind of people so we immediately starting thinking about all of the positives about him losing his job.
Now lets look at Example #2 – I was reading a post on a Facebook group from a woman who was moving from one area of Phoenix to another area. This woman was asking about which schools in the new area are the best, as her child will be entering Kindergarten. That doesn’t sound like a problem right? She is trying to be responsible and she got lots of feedback from other folks on the Facebook group. The part that got interesting was one particular response, a gentleman who commented that she should ‘relax’, that it’s a good neighborhood and its only Kindergarten. I don’t think he was trying to be malicious, but apparently that Mom did because she replied with a scathing response “I'm sorry your having such a bad day that you felt the need to tell me to "relax" you obviously do not have young children going into elementary school and if you did I would hope that you do your research to find the best school seeing how your child will be going there for quite a few years, I do not need anyone telling me to relax when it comes to my child!” WOW – all that just because he said relax. I must admit when I read her response I couldn’t help but think that she does indeed need to relax when it comes to her child. It is important to be an involved parent, but it is only Kindergarten and this woman is moving to a good school district with a very positive reputation. Her response seemed excessive.
Comparing Example #1 and Example #2, the first example showed how much a positive attitude can help a situation and the second example showed how anxiety can make a situation worse. I am happy to be able to follow the advice of Green Bay Packer Quarterback Aaron Rogers when his team was losing at the beginning of the season last year and the fans were upset, he calmly explained to his fans - R-E-L-A-X.