Stress Management: How to Avoid the Ruts and Holes of Life

Have you ever noticed how we keep falling into the same holes and ruts in life? We know something doesn't work and yet we keep doing the same things over and over again.

Have you ever wondered why we do this? And more importantly, how do we stop doing it, how do we stop "digging"? And how do we get out?

As I've studied and searched over the years for ways to help people get the changes they want, quickly, gently and effectively, I've stumbled across a poem that seems to capture well the process of change.

It's called "An Autobiography in Five Short Chapters." I wish I knew who the author is, I want to thank the person. Let's look at each of these chapters, and what they have to teach us about the process of change.

Chapter One - "I walk down the road. There's a big a hole in the road. I don't see it. I fall in. It's not my fault. It's dark and scary. It takes me a long time to get out."

We've all had the experience of winding up in a hole and wondering how we got there. It seems like we were minding our own business, and all of a sudden we wind up in a situation we never intended. Or as Jimmy Buffet once sang, "......trying to figure out how I ever got here."

Chapter Two - "I walk down the road. There's a big a hole in the road. I don't see it. I fall in. It's not my fault. It's dark and scary. It takes me less time to get out."

Here we go again. If the first time came as a surprise, this is getting to be a habit, or a pattern.

Denial and blame tend to show up at this point in the game. Denial says "what do you mean, what's my part?" Blame says "someone else did this to me, and just wait until I find them!"

At this point we are still digging the hole, and are just not aware of it yet. This is where the rut begins. It's important to remember that "the only difference between a rut and a grave are the dimensions."

Chapter Three - "I walk down the road. There's a big a hole in the road. I see it. I fall in anyway. Maybe I've got something to do with this. It's dark and scary. I get out."

Don'tcha just hate it when you know better, you even know you know better, and yet you wind up in the same place again.

Here's when change can begin to occur, because we begin to see our part in the problem. Good questions to ask are -

What's my part in this? What am I willing to do to change this? What am I willing to stop doing to change this?

It's also important to remember my favorite definition of stuck is "when we keep doing the same things over and over again and expect different results."

Chapter 4 - "I walk down the road. There's a big a hole in the road. I see it. I walk around it."

Good job! You're starting to pay attention, and make progress. Here's the not so good news. It's not enough. "What do you mean, it's not enough? Didn't I stay away from the hole?"

Yes, you did. And while that's good, in the words of southern rock group Molly Hatchet, your "flirtin' with disaster."

"Why is that?"

Because you are still on the same road, and human nature has a curious feature. We tend to forget how bad things were, and we can fall into the trap of checking out the hole "just one more time", just to make sure it was really that bad. Like an alcoholic in a bar or a dieter at an all you can eat buffet, you are flirting with disaster.

Chapter Five - "I walk down a different road."

While chapters one through four do involve some amount of change, it's still not real change. There's lots of movement and things may even look different, but it's still "change without change."

The real change, that is transformation, can go something like this four step process -

1 - you do the same thing again and then realize it afterwards

2 - you do the same thing again and realize it while you are doing it

3 - you realize you are about to do the same thing before you do it, and do something different

4 - you automatically do something different

The beauty of "walking down a different road" is that transformation has taken place. Not only do you no longer fall in the old holes, you find that you don't even want to. They no longer hold any interest or attraction for you.

Visit SecretsofGreatRelationships.com 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:

Managing Holiday Stress  Texas A&M University
Stress management during exams  The Tribune India
Fighting the silent stress epidemic  The New Indian Express
Mind Over Matter Bhutan  Kuensel, Buhutan's National Newspaper
Stress relief  Warwick Beacon
YET graduates 19 students  Nassau County Record
3 Habits for a Healthier Lifestyle  The UCSD Guardian Online
Stress Management for Nurses  www.oncnursingnews.com/
Walking offers many benefits  Press of Atlantic City

Dialing M For Mindfulness

Looking for mindfulness? Who ya gonna call?Try dialing M.It's easy... Read More

Sometimes C.O.P.I.N.G Is All We Can Do

We strive for excellence in our lives, going at full... Read More

Stress Management: 9 Universal Laws for Problem Solving

1. The Law of GiftsRichard Bach, author of "Illusions" says... Read More

Stress Management: KYFM - Keep Your Feet Moving

One of my favorite stories about change is the story... Read More

Army Ranger Reveals How to Control Corporate Stress

"Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into... Read More

7 Healthy Ways To Release Holiday Stress

Many people go through the motions during Christmas. If not... Read More

Stress Management: Medical Risks of Stress

What is Stress?Stress may be defined as the three-way relationship... Read More

FEAR: How to Defeat the Monster

What is the greatest fear of man? Is it death?... Read More

Stress Management: Are You a Chooser or a Loser?

Author and speaker H. Stephen Glenn has said,"In terms of... Read More

Stress Management and Mastery: How to Handle Change

Q. I have just recently come to recognize that I... Read More

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

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

Reduce The Stress!

First, let's make a distinction between pressure and stress. We... Read More

How To Use Diet To Reduce Your Stress

The Problem You don't need me to tell you how... Read More

Technology and Stress- How to Prevent Technology From Taking Over Your Life

1. 5-minute rule. How many times do we say, "This... Read More

5 Stepst to Stress-Guard Your Family

Part 1: Recognize the importance of family stress managementJoe and... Read More

Stop Yourself Reacting To Other People When They Push Your Buttons

We all know what it feels like to have our... Read More

Stress is a Killer?Will it get YOU?

What good is Personal or Business Success...if your Health is... Read More

Sshhh... Listen to Your Own Voice

It was a self-exploration that made me understand myself. It... Read More

Stress Management: Ditch Thinking or Destination Thinking

Imagine driving down the road. You are driving with a... Read More

Stress in the Workplace

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

Stress Reduction Tips for Parents

The best way to reduce your stress is to really... Read More

No More Sleepless Nights (Insomnia)

Insomnia is usually the result of the modern way of... Read More

Seven Steps to Reducing Stress and Reclaiming Your Life at Work

According to the StressPulse survey by ComPsych Corporation completed at... Read More

20 Ways to Shift Worry Into Attractive Energy

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

Are You Worried? 4 Steps to Peace of Mind

A friend has this quotation on his office wall: "I... Read More