In one of my Psychology classes, I came across an interesting video called “90:10 The Single Most Important Thing You Can Do For Your Stress,” by Doc Mike Evans. The video puts into words many of the strategies I use to cope with stress effectively. I thought it would be beneficial to break the video apart and speak of many good concepts it brings up.
You Can Learn Stress Management
The first concept I want to bring up is that stress management is a skill that you can learn. It is ineffective to believe that someone is doomed to succumb to negative emotions following a stressful event. Various therapies can help people adopt the skills to think more positively about stress and learn how to deal with these emotions. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) tries to reduce automatic negative thoughts by improving how people think and act in response to events. Mindfulness techniques include increasing self-awareness, physical relaxation, meditation, and mindfulness eating. These strategies help people relax and appreciate the present moment. Doing so allows people to make the most of life and come to a recognition of what life has to offer. Things like setting goals, having a growth mindset, social support, and being optimistic are all skills people can learn that are beneficial in managing stress.
Changing Your Thinking Style
The video’s next topic is that changing one’s thinking style is essential to combatting stress. All events happening in our lives are neutral until we add a label to these events. Some people can view events as positive, while others believe the world is ending. Learning how to think more positively about events is a skill difficult to develop, but it is hard to view all events as having good impacts on our lives. Whether I view experiences as good or bad, I am confident that I can always learn something from my experiences. They all end up being positive in the long run, even if I do not believe they are in that moment. Also, sometimes adverse events force me out of my comfort zone, allowing me to develop new skills and learn how to cope with events I deem stressful. The confidence and undying belief that all events will help you learn new things are beneficial for me. Significant growth never occurs in easy times, so any difficult time is an excellent opportunity for you to develop as a person.
The next idea I want to discuss is the 90-10 rule, which states that 10% of life is what happens to you and 90% of life is how you respond. Even if these percentages are incorrect, it displays a valuable perspective. In life, many events occur that you cannot control. However, you do control how you respond to these events. You can respond in a way that brings positive change to you or helps you process these emotions, or you can blame others and not react to the event. It reminds me of the time I was younger, and my father used to say that people do not make me angry but that I make myself mad. Whenever an event happens that makes me angry, I think of the fact that I can do something positive with these emotions instead of feeling despair. As you practice responding to events and thinking of your responses positively, you will find that uncertainty and spontaneous events provide less distress.
Commitment, Control, and Change
The video’s other strategies are summed up in the 3 Cs: Commitment, Control, and Change. Commitment refers to the fact that you need to remain committed to parts of your life that are important to you. This can include staying committed to hobbies, family members, community activities, or growing one’s knowledge and skills. Focus on things that matter to you in times of stress is a way to distract yourself from these emotions and do something that you value. I have found that being committed to my larger goals, values, and interests allows me to remain resilient despite adversity. Control refers to learning to control what you can and let go of what you cannot. Moreover, being in control of what you do can provide a sense of empowerment. While there are many things I cannot control, there are so many things I have the power over. You take power over your life because doing so can revolutionize the entire experience. Finally, change speaks to the fact that the influence of your beliefs about change can transform the experience and impact how you respond to them. If you view change as a new opportunity or a new pathway that can get you to a new and unique destination, you begin to invite change as if it is your greatest friend.
I hope that some of these ideas can help you deal with stress more effectively. I would recommend mindfulness techniques as it allows me to be relaxed so that I can think more rationally in any scenario. Viewing adverse events as a challenge to overcome has been one of the most influential thinking styles. Even when something terrible happens, I make the most of it to learn something new and become a stronger person. I would also say that you need to be kind to yourself. It is challenging to change your thinking styles, but making small changes will eventually add up to something tremendous.