A few years ago I, when I was living in New York, I was returning from an international trip and I had a lovely person sitting next to me on the plane and we had a great conversation about stress and New York City. When I landed and I was walking out of the airport I saw a family with three generations, a grandmother, mother and a young girl. They were commenting how just as they were getting out of the airport themselves, a person had pushed their way through the door with no consideration to others. They were bumped and the mother was clearly upset as she made a bid to protect her daughter. Her conclusion: “You land in this city and the stress just hits you in the face!”
This scene inspired me to write a rather lengthy article about stress. Because of its length I ended up splitting it into three parts. Bu the major questions I am hoping to address are: is it just big cities that stress us out? Is all stress bad? Is there anything you can do about the stress you feel? Do we even have a clear and simple single definition for stress?
The clinical definition of stress and the day-to-day definitions are very different. The stress that we mostly think about is that of the pressures we feel. One could argue that the source of stress can come from one of two places either it comes from others — such as the family at the airport mentioned above — or it can be the pressure you put on yourself your personal expectations.
So where do we start?
Well, if we had a complete stress and pressure free life why would we get anything done? If there was no pressure, no hunger, no heat or cold, there would be nothing to motive us to do anything, to achieve anything. Therefore, some level of pressure is both important and useful.
The problem really arises when the quantity goes beyond a certain threshold. Up to this point things are ok, we are feeling that added motivation to achieve, to win, to produce and to act — however, beyond that point…. we may just feel crushed!
This may seem mundane, but it teaches us a couple of very important lessons as to how we can manage our levels of stress and instead of feeling crushed, use that motivation to achieve your dreams. So let us have a quick summary:
* we all need a certain level of stress;
* this stress can be generated by others or by ourselves;
* beyond a threshold it can be crushing.
Therefore, the conclusion is that we need to effectively manage our stress to keep it from going beyond the threshold but also foster some to allow us to keep motivated.
Surely the key question is “How?!”
In the DeRose Method we teach techniques and concepts which work on all the sides of the stress equation. Our Techniques will allow you to have at your disposal a toolbox to manage the levels of stress that you can feel. Our Concepts will provide alternative behaviors that will help you to manage stress from sources other than yourself.
Together, the techniques and concepts of the DeRose Method will then raise your personal threshold allowing you to become more comfortable at higher levels of stress so that you can benefit from the additional motivation without suffering.
In the second part of this post we will give you some tips which you can do at home, call it a preview of some of our techniques and concepts, which will get you started in the path of managing your stress so that you can benefit from its positive effects alone.