Become the Victor not the Victim

Ink on Grey Toned Paper – Words: Bernard M. Baruch

We hear so much about living a stress free life. We hear about the value of eating healthy, exercising, lowering our stress level as well as having an outlet outside of what we do for a living. Stress is the enemy. Is that true? There is good stress. Excitement over life changes – marriage, babies, buying a house, even travel – all of these are very stressful yet we look forward to those. So maybe the problem isn’t stress it is how we react for it.

Imagine if instead of experiencing your regular symptoms of being stressed out – lack of sleep, digestive issues, short temper, outbursts, depression, or even binge eating – you recognized that it is a stress filled time and stopped to learn why. Learning how to process stress differently will turn a painful time into a profitable one. To do this means taking the time to pause for the cause in order to examine and learn. First we must know our physical symptoms of being stressed, and second we must know ourselves well enough to understand how we ‘unwind’ and release pressure.

I can tell when I’m stressed, so can my husband. What I have learned is quiet time to think – like weeding or cleaning – help me release the frustration and process towards a solution. I also ride, use weights and even meditate to help my body deal with the physical side of stress. I can tell a real difference when I channel my energy towards an outlet versus letting my body suffer through. If none of that works, a little retail therapy even if I don’t buy anything, REALLY helps me think, process and release. When it’s REALLY bad, I have to go to the movies and focus on something outside of myself to reset and release. It took me a while to figure all this out, once I did my outbursts, physical symptoms and other reactions were reduced.

When we understand ourselves we are better able to grow from the situations that cause stress. Otherwise they are just momentary lapses in our lives that serve no purpose other than to annoy our family, friends and coworkers. Life is hard enough without having to endure pain and not learn how to get through it with a positive outcome. With stress comes drama, loss productivity, wounded relationships and disappointment in ourselves. When we learn how we process through stress we become the victor instead of being a victim. Stress will never go away yet we have the ability to grow and choose how we want to move through it towards a positive outcome.

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