I have a daily inspirational ‘thing’ I do, and today the posting was about accepting stress. I didn’t really understand what that meant, because we’re supposed to eliminate or reduce stress in our lives. I read the little inpsirational bit I was supposed to read, then realized I had done just that the other day.
What does this mean?
Accept Stress? Who wants to accept it?
Well, I think we can all agree that it’s great to prevent stress. I mean, who wants stress in their lives? Right? And when stress does arise, we all want to find ways to cope with it.
Sometimes, the best thing we can do, when we’re not able to prevent stress, or alleviate stress, is to accept stress. This is most important when stress is unavoidable.
What is unavoidable stress?
It’s a source of stress that you have no control over, meaning your actions to prevent it, alleviate it, or avoid it, aren’t possible. In these instances, fighting stress can cause more stress.
Because this isn’t something you can control, and fighting will leave you unsuccessful, prolonging and increasing the duration and severity of the stressor.
Accepting stress does not mean you’re a passive player. What it involves is being aware of why you’re stressed, being mindful, acknowledging, and understanding what it is that’s making you feel stressed. Secondly, recognizing that the stress is beyond your control. There is nothing you can do to avoid it, prevent it, or alleviate it. It’s about being honest with yourself that the situation isn’t something you can change.
Once you realize this, you can then take steps toward accepting the stress. This is an active process, which is why accepting stress is not passive.
First off, stop trying to control the uncontrollable. It’s in our nature to want to control everything in our lives, but this simply isn’t possible. Release the need to control it.
Then, LET GO.
Once you’re no longer trying to control the stressor, you can release the negative emotions you’re holding onto which are associated with the stress. Release them. Until you do, you won’t be able to truly accept the stress.
Finally, seek opportunities to learn from what happened. You might just find a silver lining, or find yourself lightened by the burden of trying to control something beyond control.
I stopped trying to control the uncontrollable because it only increased my stress when I failed to eliminate it. I had no power. This caused frustration, and frustration led to more stress.
I couldn’t prevent it.
I couldn’t avoid it.
I couldn’t alleviate it.
I accepted it wasn’t something I had the power to change.
I took stock of my situation, being mindful of what it was that was making me stressed. There was nothing I could do to change it. It was beyond my power.
So I let go.
As soon as I accepted my powerless over the source of my stress, a profound calmness swept through me. A burden lifted. I didn’t have to fight anymore. In accepting my powerlessness, I found strength.
Then, this morning I read my daily inspirational ‘thingy’ and was like WOW. Imagine that? You can accept stress!
Without struggle there is no strength.