Stress Management and Mastery: Breakdown or Breakthrough?

Q: "My career, though very very stressful, is one that I thoroughly enjoy and do not want to change. Because I'm under so much stress, my counselor has recommended that I eliminate all stress from my life. This doesn't seem to make sense to me, especially since I like what I do so much. Should I quit my job, or is there something else I can do?"

I think your counselor is wrong. I'm sure they mean well, they just don't understand some key distinctions about stress.

The reason for that rather bold statement is that unless you are in imminent danger of a heart attack, stroke or some other equally severe catastrophe, there is no reason to eliminate all the stress from your life. The only people I know who are completely stress free can be found a few blocks down the street from my office - in the cemetery!

Not only is it not really possible to eliminate all the stress from your life, it's not very healthy as well.

What!?! are you saying stress can be healthy?!

Well, in a word, yes.

Before you think I'm completely nuts, consider what some scientists have found. Who knows where they get these ideas, but apparently some researchers found a way for a butterfly to get out of a cocoon without having to struggle. Here's the interesting part for our approach to stress. As they further studied the butterflies, they found that the ones that did not have to struggle out of their cocoons were not as healthy, not as brightly colored, and did not live as long as the butterflies that had to go through some struggles.

The meaning for us is clear: the right amount of struggle and stress can be a good thing.

When it comes to successfully dealing with stress and struggle, you can have only one of two results: a breakdown or a breakthrough. Let's take a closer look at each of these two options.

How to Have a Breakdown

Obsess on the stress in your life. Think about nothing else.

Even though you are the only invited guest, have a continuing "pity party."

Talk constantly about the stress you feel, especially to those that agree completely with you.

Get little or no exercise. After all, with all this stress, you just don't have time.

Ask lousy questions, such as "Why does this always happen to me?", "Why don't other people have as much stress as me?", etc. etc.

Take a "dead roach approach." You know, flat on your back, just letting the stress happen to you.

Follow these directions: Say to yourself "I have to do this, I have to do this, I have to do this." Rinse. Repeat.

Cut down on your sleep and rest. Remember, you just don't have time.

Focus on everything that is wrong in your life.

Put off all enjoyment until the stress has passed. Remember, you don't have time.

Pray that life gets easier.

Isolate yourself. Believe you have to do it all your self.

Carry the burden alone.

Believe you have absolutely no choice in the matter.

How to Have a Breakthrough

Visit for tips and tools for creating and growing a great relationship. You can also subscribe to our f*r*e*e 10 day e-program on how to enrich your relationship today, from relationship coach and expert Jeff Herring.

In The News:

Women, please say NO!  People Matters

The Cost of Stress ? the Need to Monitor and Manage the Risks!

How much attention is paid to one of the biggest... Read More

Stress Management: 12 Stress Busters for Speedy Stress Reduction

Are You Too Stressed?Is your stomach all tied up in... Read More

Make a Handbag - Discover Inner Peace and Stress Reduction

Have you ever considered sewing a handbag as an act... Read More

7 Solutions for Practical Stress Management

Stress is amazingly persistent, even seductive. We get used to... Read More

Stress- What Is It?

Whenever we think of 'stress', negative thoughts come into our... Read More

Stress in the Workplace

Why are you so busy? Do you really have too... Read More

Stress - What We Say is Half the Problem

Everywhere I go, I hear the same unpleasant sentence repeated... Read More

Bite-Size Chunks! The Power Of Daily Actions

There may be so much you want to change in... Read More

How to Recognize Stress Before it Turns Into Anger

After a stressful day as a computer programmer, Jim pulled... Read More

Are You Taking Notice? What Are Your Warning Signs Stress Is Building Up?

Many people recognise the warning signs that stress may be... Read More

Is Your Workplace Suffering from Contagious Stress?

We wonder how many of you might recognise this scenario?... Read More

Conquer Stress and Anxiety Naturally With This Safe and Effective Method

Rhodiola Rosea is the latest natural remedy to join the... Read More

How Breathing Differently Can Make You Happier

"When you breathe, you inspire. When you do not breathe,... Read More

Myth Busting: What Causes Mental Breakdown?

I came out of a nightmare 5-year period of anxiety... Read More

Top Ten Ways to Reduce Your Stress at Home

Top Ten Ways to Reduce Your Stress at Home1. Create... Read More

Coping with Change: Develop Your Personal Strategy

Why do we resist change? As the saying goes, the... Read More

Cancel Stress and Be Blessed!

Matthew 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour... Read More

Stress Management and Mastery: Watch Your Language

"Watch your language."We all heard this admonition as kids and... Read More

Talk Yourself Out of Stress

Seventy-five percent of all our problems ? both emotional and... Read More

Reduce Stress and Enjoy More Sleep

If you suffer from insomnia of any kind, the chances... Read More

Managing Your Persistent Fears And Anxieties

Everybody deals with fear and anxiety, however some people have... Read More

20 Ways to Shift Worry Into Attractive Energy

Worry, big or small blocks positive vibrations from entering your... Read More

Occupational Stress

Statistics tell us that more people have migraine headaches on... Read More

100 Ways to Reduce Stress

Don't let stress wear you down. Next time you are... Read More

Haris Stress Inventory

Conceptualizing stress: Stress often has a negative connotation. Failure, illnesses,... Read More