How to Break the Cycle of Stress and Frustration
No one likes feeling stressed, anxious, or resentful, and as a result, we often try to determine what “made us” feel this way and change it. Unfortunately, when we focus on people or situations we can’t change, this powerlessness triggers another round of negative emotions, which eventually will trap us in an ever-escalating cycle.
Once this happens, many turn to trying to minimize the stress, but this too can be problematic, because simply feeling less anxious doesn’t necessarily make us more successful. Or, put another way, trying to avoid the problem rarely creates a solution.
Therefore, I suggest that we draw upon the wisdom of Albert Einstein and stop trying to solve the problem at the same level of awareness that created it. In other words, let’s raise our awareness of what is truly going on when we become stressed, anxious, frustrated, etc., and use this new awareness to create a solution.
In my work as a psychologist and seminar leader, this means understanding the neuroscience behind our thoughts, emotions, and actions, and learning to influence how the brain processes information in order to access our best, especially in challenging situations.
This learning begins by understanding that our negative emotions are actually triggered by the middle brain, or limbic system, whose mission it is to keep us alive as a specie. Unfortunately, it is unconscious and working with “old software” and, as a result, tends to interpret almost anything negative as dangerous, throwing us into the part of the brain designed to deal with danger (the brainstem).
The qualities that we need to succeed, however, reside in the upper 80% of the brain (the neocortex) which explains why trying to deal with life while we are stressed, frustrated, or anxious is rarely successful.
Therefore, I teach participants and clients how to break the cycle of stress by first identifying who we are when we are coming from the neocortex (what I call the “top of the mind”) and then bringing these more purposeful qualities to life. This is what I call “becoming the cause.”
Easier said than done? Absolutely! However, for those willing to put in the time and effort, the reward can be substantial. I mean, how valuable would it be for you to be able to access your clarity, confidence, and creativity when dealing with difficult situations?
If this is something that you would like for yourself and/or your organization, I suggest you contact me… because until we learn how to do more than just break the cycle of stress and frustration, we will be forever stuck focusing on the problem versus creating a solution.
~ All the best, Dr. Bill