Some stressors are present in our daily lives and at times, they may feel unmanageable. However, with Recognition, we can use stress as a powerful tool to help us identify and make important choices and lifestyle changes. I know you’re thinking…How does that work????
The BreakThrough! approach rests on a foundation of 4R’s:
Recognition, Resistance, Resilience and Recovery
Looking at life stress through the BreakThrough! approach can help us understand what’s eating us and why we’re eating in response! For most people, stress causes weight gain but that’s the topic of a different post. Stressed and Gaining Weight
So let’s look at stress from the BreakThrough! approach.
We’re all aware of the big emotional stressors (divorce, financial pressures, health, etc.). Most often though it’s the little ones (time pressure, lost items, forgotten tasks) that nibble away at our peace of mind and leave us with the equivalent of dirty dishes in the mind. The little stressors (or baby bitches) can add up quickly and quietly (unless they’re associated with toddlers). By the end of the day (if you make it that far) they leave us feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, angry, and irritable, resentful…you name it. These emotional states leave us exceedingly vulnerable to bingeing on ice-cream, cookies, popcorn…
Stress is sneaky – in some ways it can even be likened to cancer. Stress in just one part of our life (work, relationship, transportation etc.) can quickly spread across multiple areas of our daily activities. It will rob us of peace of mind and very likely negatively impact the quality of our relationships and social interactions. It can creep up on us with such stealth that after a while we become completely affected (emotionally overwhelmed) and infected (unhealthy).
We do need some stress to function with purpose, effort, and efficiency. However it’s time to ask ARE WE TRYING TO DO TOO MUCH? Hmm…most of us set our expectations pretty high and then beat ourselves up when we don’t get everything done. So..this recognition leads to making lists…prioritizing… and other techniques covered in the course sessions. Next though are some brief pointers.
We develop resistance when we can tell ourselves that can’t do everything on the “to do” list…WHY? Because we keep writing more lists before we’re done with the first one! There’s the list at work, the list in the car, the list we left at home on the kitchen counter. Let’s be real though. No tombstone reads: “She finished everything her list”. Okay..for sure no man has the headstone…”He finished the Honey Do’s…” (I warned you this course has humor!) So resistance is where we take a realistic approach and start to push back on old behaviors. For some it means saying no, for others it might be (insert expletive_______NO!!!!!!!!!!!!)
We develop resilience when our default response is proactive and protective. For some this requires going through the process of instilling an inner coach that encourages positive self-talk and thoughts like: “I take care of important tasks. If more needs to be done, I’ll get to it.” My absolute favorite de-stressor when I’m asked to do more is a polite
“I’m not sure, I’ll get back to you.” Why…this gives us time to consider questions like these:
DO I want to do this?
What is the motivation of the person asking?
Am I the default “go-to” person because I’ve always said yes?
(If you work for me…this polite answer actually means NO…I’m leaving early to go sailing : )
We are in stress recovery when our thoughts at days end default to: “Important things were done; I’m happy with my progress today!”
This is a small snapshot of how the BreakThrough! course unfolds. (1/3/22) Please note the website is being updated for 2022. Check back soon to see new articles, updates and course modules.