If It Weren’t For People, There Would Be No Stress
Last week at a stress management workshop I presented, the first participant walked in the room, looked at me, and said (half kidding, half not),
“If it weren’t for people, there would be no stress!”
Unfortunately this is a familiar sentiment when I present my workplace stress management program. People, expectations, people not living up to expectations. People are a big cause of workplace stress.
Or are they?
There was a time when I believed this to be true. My lack of trust and personal defensive walls kept me disconnected from and frustrated with those around me.
Then I quit my job to start a wellness business. I very quickly woke up and realized I couldn’t sustain a wellness business – which is in its simplest form a business about helping and connecting with people – if I wasn’t connected positively to people.
I needed to move from:
- Judgment to compassion
- Distrust to trust and vulnerability
- Frustration to an open mind and ability to listen to others.
In order to make the shift I found myself:
- Becoming aware of my current interactions with people
- Taking responsibility for my part in the interaction
- Choosing a new way to respond (favorably), even during times of disagreement.
The shift didn’t happen overnight and required practice, patience and study to learn and identify a new way of being with people. The shift had to start with me. Sure, there are days when I find myself falling into old patterns. The difference, however, is a new awareness. I can catch myself before any harm is done.
What I realized is: it’s not people who create stress, it’s how I interact with or respond to people that creates stress. And how I interact with or respond to people is up to me.
The bottom line: we need people in our lives. The most treasured times in my life are those moments I share with people – personally and professionally – laughing, crying, celebrating achievements. Even in the instances where different viewpoints are the norm, I always learn something when I listen with an open mind rather than attack or defend. And on those days when I feel disconnected or frustrated I also feel lonely. And that in itself can increase stress.
If it weren’t for people, there would be no stress.
What do you think? Do you believe that if it weren’t for people there would be no stress? Or do you have a different viewpoint?
IF IT WEREN’T FOR PEOPLE…
Lance at the Jungle of Life recently partnered with Joanna of Fitness and Spice to create an ebook in an effort to raise money for breast cancer research and awareness. When you donate to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, you’ll receive a free copy of the ebook that includes posts from hundreds of bloggers around the world. To date the efforts of Lance and Joanna have raised over $1000! A brilliant example of why we need people in our lives and how people can help relieve stress, rather than create it. Click here for more information and to learn how you can support Blog4Cause.