Having Mixed Feelings is Normal
If you’re like most people, you probably have misgivings about managing your stress, especially if you’ve tested the waters before and always backed off. Sure, it would be nice to reduce your stress level. But what will you have to give up? Will reducing your stress mean settling for something less than perfection in reaching your goals? Many people feel like they need high stress in their life – like they thrive on it. And even if you don’t feel that way, if you feel overwhelmed, will stress management efforts be just one more obligation? These kinds of mixed feelings about working on stress are normal.
You view your stress as a problem, but at the same time feel you might not achieve as much without it. You’re fed up with how stress is ruining your life, yet also believe that it’s beyond your control. You realize you’ve got to do something about stress, but where will you find the time? It’s like you’re “on the fence.” Deciding to make changes is really tough when you’re inconsistent, because you have no way of ensuring that the trade-offs will be acceptable to you. This is why it’s so important to examine the pros and cons of change before you begin. When you examine your inconsistency, you’ll have a better idea of what’s holding you back or might stand in your way of success.
You can challenge preconceived notions about what the trade offs might mean, and you can make plans to clear away obstacles that have thwarted any efforts to change that you’ve made in the past.
The Pros and the Cons of Stress
Let’s be honest: even though you realize that stress is potentially dangerous – even life threatening in high doses – you probably see some benefits to your stress. Maybe it feels like high levels of stress keep you motivated to achieve at a high level at work or school. Do you worry that your work would suffer without enough stress? Do you feel it’s useful for you to assume the worst (awfulizing) in situations so that you’ll always be prepared for the worst case? Are you so used to stress that you don’t know what you’d do without it?
Your efforts to make changes will succeed only when you realize that your reasons for changing outweigh your reasons for not changing. It’s that simple.