5 Steps to Make Stress Your Best Friend

You probably think I’m wacko, but it’s true – stress can be your best friend! Stress is actually a positive experience to be channeled to improve your life.

For instance, let me tell you about a small moment of stress I faced a few minutes ago.

Just before I boarded my flight from Phoenix to Seattle, I was talking to my husband Wade on my cell phone. Toward the end of our conversation, he told me how someone had commented on how the kids are dressed better when I’m around.

Now, I already know some of the things he’s taken the kids to church in…..YIKES!

But, then he proceeds to tell me how Maegan had syrup in her hair, and it was all tangled, and he couldn’t brush it out; so he took her over to the baby sitter that way anyway (uh-oh).

When he picked her up, they said they were going to do swimming the next day, so he took her back the next day the same way so the swimming could wash it out!!!

I about DIED!

No wonder they commented!!!!!

Now, to me, that is definitely a moment of stress!

But did you know that I gave me an opportunity to make my life and Maegan’s life better?

Here, let me walk you through it.

How did I feel when I hear this story? I felt a little angry, embarrassed, frustrated, incredulous, shocked…

But did you know that it is a good thing that I felt that way? It is a good thing because it meant that it was going to cause some action.

Now, I could do a harmful type reaction and have an argument with husband, never go on a trip again, etc
or….I can use that emotion to think of a solution so that it doesn’t happen again.

Which is precisely what I did.

First, I explained to my husband how to brush a girls long hair. It never occurred to me that I was the only one brushing her hair – and being a girl with long hair, it never occurred to me that someone would start brushing it from top on down! No wonder he could never get the tangles out. So, now he knows to start at the bottom and work his way up.

Secondly, I explained to him that when syrup is in the hair, you HAVE TO WASH IT! I don’t know if he was waiting for it to deteriorate :-), or if he thought it would rub off on her pillow 🙂 or what……it’s probably best I DON’T know what he thought! But anyway….

Thirdly, I explained how I washed her hair. Actually, as I right this, it is soooo hard NOT to laugh. I mean, for the moment our first two boys were born, Wade’s done everything in taking care of them. And I guess he did for Maegan too, until her hair started getting long. Who would have known that a little hair could scare such a big, strong guy so much?

But, in a way, I do understand. Her head is sensitive from her cranial surgery, and he is particularly sensitive to his daughter. If she says “oww”, he can’t tell if it’s real or not. I guess that’s a mom thing.
Anyway – after I went through all of that, I told him when he needed to brush her hair and how often he had to wash it.

I just created a system so that the next time I’m on a trip, she will look great, he won’t feel lost, and I won’t be embarrassed.

If you look at ANY situation in life, you can go through the same process. You can face a stimulus, negatively re-act, or creatively solve.

What is in your life right now, this very second, that you are stressed about? Are you just ignoring it, hoping that it will go away? Are you trying to cover it up with eating, or are you suffering physically by lack of sleep from worry and insomnia?

Here’s five steps to put your subconscious out of commission and use your conscious mind to use the stress to improve your life:

Write down what is stressing you
Write down how it makes you feel
Write down what is good about it and what is bad about it
Write down what you would do differently knowing what you know now
Write a plan of what you can do or put in place so that it won’t happen again or so that you’ll have a positive outcome next time

Stress can be your friend. Without it, you’ll never be motivated to make a change for the better. And, it will NEVER go away. Life will never reach the point where everything goes great all the time.

And don’t forget to teach this to your kids! They can have such an advantage in life to learn now how to positively channel negative experience into an opportunity for growth.

You can do the written exercise with them – or hey, you can even do it while cooking!
Show them:

how chaos is turned to order
that hurrying or making yourself slow down makes something great
how beating and stirring and molding makes it into something better
how a recipe “flog” is now an analyzing opportunity to make it better the next time

You’ll be teaching them really valuable important life skills and they’ll be having the time of their life doing it!

Author: Laura Bankston