When we think of habits we often think of food, cigarettes, alcohol, or drugs. We can also add caffeine, shopping, and sex to that list. These are obvious habits that we are well aware of and know the consequences if we continue. Another habit that may be evaluated is our emotions. When we are presented with a stressful situation it may be a habit to feel fear or worry. Some people may even react to stressful situations with anger, frustration, or irritability. These emotions are the cause of our stress.
For example, when we are working on the car or working on the house and the job gets difficult we may get angry, frustrated, or irritable. Sound familiar? This is a habit that we have of reacting to certain situations and it is the source of our stress.
Another example may be, when we have something big that brakes down like a car, washer or dryer, air conditioner, or a water heater and we don't have the money to pay for it we may feel fear or worry. This is another habit that we may have of reacting to circumstances that is the culprit of our stress.
When we become aware of our habitual reactions of our emotions we can take responsibility and change these habits for the better. If we get angry or irritable often, we may have created habits of anger and irritability, which can be changed through education. Awareness is the number one key. If we are aware of these negative emotional reactions we can take responsibility and change these emotions to the opposite. We can change anger, frustration, or irritability to patience and tolerance. We can change doubt, fear, and worry to confidence, security, and hope.
It is not necessary to get angry, frustrated, or irritable. It is not necessary to have doubt, fear, or worry. We can take control of our reactions. Sounds simple but is not necessarily easy. The hard part is the 20, 30, 40, or more years of the tendency to react this way.
What can we do to destress our negative habits of reacting? The first key is awareness. Like an addict we cannot get help unless we think we need help. The next step is to talk to an expert on stress management or read a book on stress management. Another great way of being aware of our emotions is being aware of our thoughts because it is the thought that we are having that causes our feelings. And finally, never ending goal setting of changing your habits. If we want to change behavior that we have had for years it may take some time and hard work. Never ending goal setting is the way to move forward. If we don't move forward we are stagnant, if we are stagnant our problems get bigger, if our problems get bigger that causes an increase in our stress.
About the Author
Elizabeth Stanfill, of Destress Yourself, is an authority and expert in Critical Incident Stress Management, General Stress Management, and Overcoming Burnout. She specializes in teaching individuals to discover the stressful habits that are holding them back in life and changing these habits into successful practices that create explosive jumps in personal and professional performance. [email protected], http://destressyourself.com
Destress Yourself Via Assessing Habits
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