Focused attention

Hopefully you have learned something from Fred’s stresses that will help you to analyse your own.

Have you been practising the relaxation and breathing exercises? Keep doing them – even when things start looking up. They are always helpful and as you get into the habit of using them you will have a better chance of remembering to do them when next you are overwhelmed by stress.

Did you notice the benefit of some focused attention when you categorised your stresses? You need to carry on with this exercise. Examine each of your urgent stresses. Record your reflections digitally or use pen and paper and store them for future use. Explore questions such as:

  1. How did this problem start?
  2. When did it become a problem?
  3. What changed to make that happen?
  4. If it became worse what is the worst thing that could result?
  5. Even if you cannot resolve the problem is there anything you can do to prepare for or even prevent a ‘worst case scenario’?
  6. Usually in life, ‘every cloud has a silver lining,’ so can you think of something positive about your stress situation?  (This helps to balance the general negativity that stress induces.)
  7. Just occasionally you may be able to go even further and turn the problem round so instead of being an unsurmountable obstacle it becomes a stepping stone to greater achievements. Is this possible for one or more of your problems? Give it some serious thought.
  8. Who can you share your problem with? Just talking it over with someone can help you see it in a new light and your friend may even be able to see aspects that you had not previously noticed.
  9. What resources can you call on to help you cope? For example, how can you ensure you have time that is set aside to deal with your problems? How can you change the way you spend your income so you have some in reserve to help deal with emergencies?
  10. Who is there among your family and friends who can help?

Problems are rarely solved in one session. You may need a few days, or even longer, to work through these questions in relation to each of your problems.   Take time. Sleep on it. It is amazing how a good night’s sleep freshens you mind, clears the clouds of worry and enables you to make some good decisions.

The whole point of this exercise is that you are in charge. At its heart, only you can sort out your stresses. They are yours. There will be a number of secret aspects that only you know about – no one else will understand their importance. And then there is something powerful at play when you take control and start to manage your own stresses. You are now in the driving seat – you are no longer being pulled from one side to the other by your stresses.

Make decisions. Review what you do. Adapt circumstances or your behaviour. Observe any differences that result.

Remember though, that life does not stand still. As you get on top of your present stress problems other issues will arise. Do not despair. This is a normal part of life. It happens to us all.

From time to time you will need to return to this page and go over the questions – particularly when a new stress problem arises.

Do you recognise the progress you are making in such a short time? Well done. Congratulations. You are now working from a position of greater strength and confidence. And it has taken only a small amount of effort to achieve this.

PLEASE STOP NOW.  Do not move on.

Answer the above questions to yourself as they relate to your stresses.  There are no quick-fix or clever answers in this website. It all depends on YOU!  Now is the time, when you have been reminded of your urgent stresses that you need to examine them.  That will help you understand  better and may well help you develop ways of dealing with them.

Click here when you are ready to continue