Two Common and Controllable Causes of Stress

Some people are always stressed, while others always seem calm. Some people are anxious about every decision, while others seem content with the possibility of failure.

As I observe both types of people, I believe there are two self-created issues that set us up for stressful days and nights. They are mindsets that we have control over, yet many of us fail to control.

Being strung tighter than a piano wire is not fun for me or anyone within my blast radius. Very few people gravitate TOWARDS someone who is a ball of stress. Most of us like to be around the person who seems to have things under control or at least has a positive perspective on life.

What is the stressed person missing? What is it in his/her mindset that needs to change?

1.  No Vision Equals High Stress

Stress often manifests itself within my thoughts or comments about the uncertainty of the future. The difference between the stressed person versus the calm person is not whether the future is uncertain. The difference is the stressed person’s focus is on the ride instead of the destination.

When I am without a vision for the future, or without an ultimate understanding of what the big picture is in my life, I often can only focus on the obstacles immediately in front of me.

When I focus on the far reaching vision and an understanding of what my ultimate goal is, I remain focused on the destination – and today’s obstacles are temporary inconveniences.

In a previous blog on Vision, I stated that if your eyes are focused just over the hood of the car, every pothole feels like a crater! That is what it feels like to no have Vision.

To read that blog, click on the following title: Vision: Am I Enjoying The Ride?

2.  Living Contractually Equals High Stress

Another way stress manifests itself is with the feeling of not being in control. Some people say, “I am tired of being reactive. I wish I could get out of that mode and be more in control.”

If I look at life as a set of contracts, I will always feel out of control. A contract states, “If you do this, then I will do that.” In that scenario, my actions are always dependent on the actions of others!

With a contractual mindset, I am always reacting! But what if I break the mold and begin to think differently? What if I develop a covenant mindset?

A covenant states, “I am going to do this, no matter what you do.” To live life with a covenant mindset, I have to know what I stand for – what is important to me.

Once I know what is important to me, I can move from being reactive to be proactive. I can make decisions that are based on what I stand for and not based on what other people do! I am in control of my decisions and how I live my life!

Click on the following title to dig more into Covenant living/leading: Four Benefits of Covenant Leadership.

The Bottom Line:

Only the immature believe that life should be easy. It is not. But, I can control how I view life by finding a vision for my future and living my life based on a set of covenant beliefs.

Try an experiment. Ask one of your chronically stressed out friends two questions:

  1. What is your life’s vision – your ultimate goal?
  2. What best describes your mindset in life – contractual or covenant mindset?

I bet they don’t really have answers to those questions.

If you don’t, then I want to encourage you to find your own answers. When you find those answers, the calm person you always wanted to be will begin to take charge of your life. I promise.

For more on eliminating stress from your life click on this blog title: How Calm People Stay Calm.

Question:

How would you answer these questions for yourself?

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