Is Someone Getting Your Goat?
Do you often get annoyed at other people’s behaviour? Do you sometimes take it personally if other people appear rude? Do you find yourself getting stressed when other people do things that upset your peace? Well, you are not alone. Many people who come to see me for stress reduction are affected by the thoughtless behaviour of other people around them, and as a result they find themselves at the receiving end of the hormonal surge of adrenalin, the fight-or-flight response. If this response is triggered many times a day, on a daily basis, it can stay switched on almost permanently. One of my clients described this feeling as “fire fighting”, always ready to put out the next fire, finding it difficult to switch off, waking up with a feeling of dread in the pit of their stomach. Other people have reported bowel problems; sometimes lying awake in the middle of the night worrying, going over things in their minds again and again. People who are suffering from stress often react strongly to external events and this can upset their sense of balance.
How can you remain physically relaxed and mentally calm when others are behaving badly or creating a fuss around you? Think about this story for a moment...
Once upon a time, there were three goats who saw a terrified horse running away as fast as it could. The goats were struck by the strangeness of the situation and they started making fun of him, calling him names and laughing. The horse felt embarrassed, but thought to itself “If only they knew there is a lion chasing me, then they would understand why I am running so fast and feeling so scared”.
This fable was written thousands of years ago by Aesop and it can still work today as a useful metaphor.
Other people's behaviour can often appear rude, unpleasant or even idiotic. The next time you see someone behaving in a way that you don’t like, ask yourself this question: What if they are being chased by a lion?
There are three approaches to manage stress effectively.
1. Take action – confront the problem head on and do something about it, if it is within your power to do so.
2. Manage your Emotions – change your interpretation of the situation, look at it in a different way, like the horse example above.
3. Accept the things you cannot change – accept that it is outside of your control and you have no power to change things.
And finally, remember the 3 'P' words, Permanent, Pervasive and Personal and ask yourself these questions about the situation you find yourself in:
For most situations, the answers will be no. So why not learn how to say “NO” to stress? There is a better way of handling challenging situations. If you would like help to manage the stressful situations in your life, get in touch. Book your free consultation HERE
More about stress HERE