We all know what stress feels like, we all know what it looks like and we all know exactly what makes us stressed out. Then why is it that really bad things can happen and some of us are crushed and struggle to stand, while others enduring the exact same thing, come out stronger and more alive? Working on a disaster relief team after the “1 in 5,000 year” flood in Longmont Colorado in September of 2013, I saw people whose homes were destroyed with 9 feet of water in their basements, lining up to help their neighbors before working on their own homes. They were alive and vibrant and helping anyone who looked in need. Right next door were homeowners sitting on their front porches with a dull lifeless look about them, struggling to take it all in. Same event, yet two completely different responses. Why is it that some people thrive in stressful environments and others hardly survive when things get hard?
Bad Things Happen
We live in a world where bad things happen. Bad things happening don’t cause stress and suffering, that happens when we fight what happens.
Not all stress is bad stress.
We need some stress in order to grow and develop as human beings. Going through difficult times in our lives is like lifting weights, it has the ability to make us stronger, able to handle more of our day-to-day stressors. Plant nurseries use big fans to stress young plants by buffeting them around, making them stronger, more resilient and less prone to collapse before harvest time. Militaries the world over create stressful bootcamps in order to produce resilient soldiers and recruits. Hospitals push new medical interns with long hours, stressful schedules and intense work loads to create doctors that can handle any crisis.
Two sides of the same coin.
Stress can create strength and build resiliency. Stress can also be a killer, bringing the best of us to knees or worse. The difference between the two is perspective. Imagine an inbox with a hundred unanswered emails in it. To some people this can be the beginning of a panic attack while others may look at the stuffed inbox and think to themselves: “That looks like job security to me”. The same inbox full of to do’s can create several different responses. The difference is only perception.
There are two kinds of stress.
People die, businesses go bankrupt, wars happen and natural disasters are tearing a part the planet. This is the way of the world. Stress-proofing your life is never about try to control the world (or others) to conform to your desires. In fact one of the most stressful things in life is trying to control the outside world or trying to control others to be a certain way. The only thing we can ever truly control is our own personal response to whatever life throws at us.
Stress-proof.com is a website dedicated to helping others shift their relationships to stress. Our foundational underpinning looks at the following:
- Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE) – These revolutionary exercises have been used by over a million people the world over.
- Somatic Psychology – 93% of communication is nonverbal. Stress-proofing focuses on the non-verbal part of our existence.
- Ontological Coaching – We are continuously creating the world around us. When we change our beliefs and actions, we create better results.
- Applied Neurobiology – When our brains are compromised, we can be at our worst. When our brains are functioning effectively, we can be at our best.