Stress is the genesis of 80+% of doctors' visits.
DZackCulver / Pixabay – Stress is the genesis of 80+% of doctors’ visits.

I attended a military breakfast meeting yesterday. The keynote speaker led off by saying that none of us should have any real stress in our lives since we are home and no one is shooting at us. Many of us laughed. But, he was right. He had been in action overseas and is now home and no one is shooting at him.

We (the collective all of us) stress about many things – traffic, our mother-in-law, bills, our bosses, lack of time, etc. We have many demands on our lives. It’s not the stress that is the issue. It’s how we accept the stress.

If you are home and no one is shooting at you, should you worry about the traffic? If you knew ahead of time that the traffic could be a factor, leave earlier. When you date, and find that one mate in your life, you will marry his/her family, not just the individual. You know in advance what is likely to happen, especially if there is a different culture involved (race, creed, politics, etc.).

We tend to accept the stress and allow it to fester. If you go to bed and find yourself highlighting those memories that won’t go away, they disrupt your sleep. It should not happen. You haven’t let go of those moments.

I did a 500-mile walk across northern Spain a few months ago. It is the Camino de Santiago. At the start of the journey, I declared, out loud, to my wife that this was my Let It Go Tour. I was not going to allow anything to happen that would remain with me. I was going to ‘let it go’ every time something stressful happened. I would not take it to bed and ‘think’ about it any longer.

It’s not what happened, it’s how we keep it in our minds. The easiest exercise I’ve been involved in was to invisibly write the name of the person who is stressing me out the most on the palm of my hand. Then take my hand and throw that name away and tell myself that I let go of that person and all that person had done to me. My wife had a boss.  There was a situation that infuriated her; and, thus, me. I had a bad taste in my mouth for this person and every time I saw her I would get upset.

After the little experiment with the invisible writing on the palm of my hand, I decided to try it out on her. I wrote her name and threw it away and claimed that I would not allow her stress into my life. Less than two weeks later I was at an event and I noticed immediately that I was no longer irritated and upset with her being near me. I could return her gaze and it had no effect. I have never had a lingering stress point about that person since.

Think about what keeps you awake at night and let it go. There are many stress management techniques that can be used to tamper down the intensity of the stress levels. Employ them often. If you are at home and no one is shooting at you, there is no reason to take your stress to bed with you.

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