Paolo Assandri
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Make STRESS become your best friend.

“Stress comes from within: it is your reaction to circumstances, not the circumstances themselves.”

Brian Tracy

Occasionally we all face moments of stress. An increase in job duties, a time of changes, financial issues are a few examples that may generate stress in our lives. On the other hand, even pleasant situations may generate stress:  a promotion, a wedding, a graduation or  a change that can revolutionize our lifestyle even for better.

In fact, stress is part of our lives as it can serve us in many different way. In fact, stress can be defined as a psychologic and emotional pressure that pushes us  to address life challenges, and to respond to them in the best possible way. However, we all know that if stress is intense and persistent, it can disempower us, thus making our strategies and our actions less effective.

We all know that that there some people who seem to better cope with stress than others, and who seem to lead a satisfying life even in extremely stressful situations. What then is their secret?

Let’s take a look at some of their strategies and charactrestics:

1. They are not scared of stress and they accept it as a natural part of life.

As Kelly McGonigal claims in her book “The upside of stress”, stress isn’t harmful per se, but the way we deal with stress often is detrimental. People accepting stress often see it as a signal that it is time for a change. Basically, people who tolerate stress can identify its functional aspects: this is why  they can befriend stress and, consequently, minimize its negative effects.

2. They are capable to reshape their expectations towards their future and themselves.

People who embrace stress don’t think about their life in terms of victory/defeat. They think of life as a learning process. Even though they might not reach their goals, they believe that they can reach positive results. If they cannot carry out a task in a perfect way, they believe they can achieve adequate standards. They trust they can learn from their mistakes.

3. They commit to live a life congruent with their values.
People who better cope with stress don’t focus only on their goals, but they commit to honor their values and principles. They make  an effort to live a life that is congruent with their values.

4. They know how important is to connect with others and have meaningful relationships.
People who are better equipped to cope with stress know that they can find nourishment in relationships. They have a good support network as they invest their energy and time to take care of the people they love.

5. They are not afraid to relax.
People who embrace stress know that thinking of a problem  in an obsessive way does not allow them to find a solution. They know how important is to rest and to relax. They know that the time for rest is crucial to find creative solutions, or, simply, to recharge and face difficulties more efficiently.

6. They can to find a fine balance between what they can do and the awareness of limits.
People who embrace stress know there are limitations to what they can do to change a situation and they know that these limits may be inherent in the situation itself. This is the reason why they do their best and they don’t insist on trying to change what they can’t change.

7. They love themselves.
Even though they try hard, people who embrace stress can forgive themselves for their imperfection. They consider themselves their best friends by keeping a loving though not indulgent attitude.

8. They think that mistakes and bad times are a good opportunity to learn.
People that embrace stress often conceive life as “work in progress”. They also believe that  mistakes and difficult situations are parts of this never-ending process and that they can learn from them.

9. They undersand that stress management is something that they can learn
People that cope better with stress know that they can learn to manage stress more and more efficiently. They observe, ask questions, reflect on themselves and study, because they know that stress management is comprised of skills and that those skills can be learnt.

If you too believe that stress management is something that you can learn, please check our program “LiFT-Life Flow Training for Stress Reduction”, starting in March 2022.

Author: Paolo Assandri is a HCPC Registered Counselling Psychologist and a UKCP Registered Full Clinical Psychotherapist. He is also a fully qualified Italian psychologist (Ordine degli Psicologi del Piemonte). He lives and works in London offering counselling and psychotherapy.

This article is not intended to replace any kind of medical/psychological therapy. Its only purpose is to provide information about psychology, mind-body wellbeing and mental health. If you need medical or psychological support, please contact a qualified health practitioner. Authors, producers, consultants involved in the production of this article are not responsible for any choice made by the reader after reading it.

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