Men, You’re Doing Stress Wrong
Men like tools and like to fix things. Of course this statement is a gross overgeneralization since I am finding more and more men have no idea how to operate a circular saw, or even a screwdriver for that matter. Either way, I sometimes speak with men who say, “I am so stressed all of the time and it is causing a problem in my life. I want you to give me some tools to control it.” The most widely prescribed solution to this “problem” is to simply relax. This can involve breathing more deeply, learning yoga, meditating, praying, listen to calming music, taking a hike, and the list goes on.
The reason we look to relaxation techniques as the first solution is because much of our stress can be self-induced by the way we think about certain situations. This means we give meaning to thoughts, and thoughts control our reactions. If we change the meaning we give to a thought, then it essentially changes our lives. However, not all stress is created equal, and sometimes stress can be a blessing rather than a scourge needing to be fixed. Maybe the stress you feel is trying to tell you something. Think of it as the check engine light on your car instrument panel. I would like to propose a few alternative ways to think about stress.