Tag Archives: stressful

Looking on the Bright Side: Outlook Skills

Life is bound to be stressful, but there are things you can do to reduce the amount of stress you juggle on a daily basis. You can decrease the amount of stress you have by viewing events in a different light. The ways you cope by adjusting your viewpoint are called Outlook skills. These are particularly helpful when you:

  • feel depressed,
  • tend to be cynical,
  • experience grief, and/or
  • limit yourself.

You may already be familiar with relabeling — rather than assume the worst, allow yourself to look at it another way. Rather than get cranky your dentist is running late and you’re stuck in the waiting room, think of it as extra free time and let yourself relax.

Another way to change your outlook is called whispering. Let’s face it, we all talk to ourselves. We don’t always do it aloud, but we are the film critics to the movies of our lives. Maybe you spill something. Do you usually think something such as “oh good job!” sarcastically? Or do you clean it up and go on your way? Try whispering good things to yourself instead. You can combat that little nagging voice. Try making an index card with a list of positive messages. If you start to get down on yourself, just look at that card. Add to it when you want, and carry it with you.

  • Do you let your inner voice bog you down?
  • Do you relabel, or do you sweat the small stuff?

One Stage at a Time

There are many ways to handle the stresses caused by life stages.  An important one is not to take yourself too seriously. Laugh at the little things in life, and remember that all stages in life – the terror of being out on your own for the first time in your twenties, the confusion of processing death at 70 – will pass with time. Be patient; it’s all just a stage! Keep in mind as you age that coping skills won’t always work the same way.

Aging helps you develop a fuller, deeper perception if you let it. Keep in touch with friends both older and younger than you. It’s amazing to see someone go through the same stages you did, and it’s helpful to see someone go through those that are approaching.  Watching others helps you see first hand the benefits of accepting aging as a part of life. Continue forward instead of looking back. Some people live in the past and others can’t seem to stop worrying about the future. What we should all try to do is cultivate today’s joys, because they become the future. Today’s joys also become tomorrow’s cherished memories. Be patient, have a sense of humor, and accept life in all of its stages. Things will be a lot less stressful.