Written by Doctor G

When you say Yes to the Stress


You’ve heard a lot from me about stress. How to manage the stress in your life, how to build your resilience skills so that stress doesn’t feel as overwhelming, how to decide what fits with your priorities… But none of that helps when your people bring you stress!
Every person we care about, every person we work with, every person we serve has the power to bring stress into our lives. You already know thatboundaries matter. If someone tries to get you to worry about something that isn’t your responsibility or that doesn’t line up with your values, you can say no.What if you want to – or need to – say yes to the stress?Right now, I’m worried about a couple of my kids. They’ve brought me struggles they are facing, and while I don’t have much (if any!) control over what’s happening to them, I’m totally invested in the outcome. That’s right – there is just about nothing I can do to navigate this myself, but I’m absolutely along for the stressful ride. 

Are you currently along for the ride with someone else’s challenges?

Even when it’s not your stressor, you still have strategies to decrease your own overwhelm. Here are a few: 

  • Connections help. You don’t have to navigate change or difficulty alone. Reach out to the people that want to support you and let them know you could use a hand, an ear, a thought or prayer. You can keep something private and still let your people know you need them.
  • Manage your discomfort in positive or neutral ways. That means pick your coping mechanisms that distract, uplift or encourage you, but aren’t damaging to you or anyone else!
  • Open to possibilities. As you picture the outcome you hope for in the hard situation, get creative. Think about all the different ways it might turn out and consider what could be good or useful about each one. 

And remember all the tools we’ve talked about to help other people navigate struggles.

  1. Empathy – not fixing it for them – makes the biggest impact! 
  2. Offer transparent information so they can have the knowledge they need to figure out the best choices for the situation.
  3. Don’t expect immediate results! See if they can get a little processing time to breathe and consider.
  4. Try offering some autonomy!

Getting a call or text from someone important to you who is suffering can throw you into a tornado. If you’re struggling with this, hit reply and let me know. And try one of these things to you help yourself breathe.

All my best,

Dr. G

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A widely recognized media personality, Dr. G is your go-to expert on resilience. Countless broadcast outlets rely on her contagious humor and illuminating stories to tackle tough topics. She is regularly seen on TV, as well as interviewed for print and digital outlets. Here, she’s answering your questions. Search for the answers you need, or ask her your question now!
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