Are You Resisting Managing Stress? Have you become a good stress manager? Or are you stuck dealing with life’s challenges the same way you have been for years –not very well? Are you resisting managing stress but don’t know why?
If you are stuck and unable to manage the different sources of stress in your life, allow me to offer another point of view. After all, life is too short to not enjoy it.
We are inundated day in and day out about how harmful stress is to our life, but are these messages getting thru? Are you experiencing less stress?
I’m guessing that since you are still reading …your stress levels have not declined much. Is this because you feel some sort of resistance to making the changes you know you need to make? Has this resistance caused you to focus your attention toward what you don’t want instead of what you do want? And now you’ve resigned yourself to believing that there is nothing you can do that will make any real difference? So why even bother to try?
I don’t know about you, but I find it odd how I can discover something new, know that it makes perfect sense and want to make a change, but for some reason resist doing it. Trying to explain resistance without sounding like excuse making is nearly impossible, even to myself. But the truth is, when it comes to change, most of us feel resistance but have no idea why the thought of change, even improvement, triggers a feeling of pushing against oneself.
I’ve discovered a way to use resistance as a step toward change and becoming a better stress manager and you can too.
Let’s start by building a little more awareness about resistance. Resistance by definition is “the opposition offered by one thing.” (Dictionary.com)
Let’s use physical fitness as a type of metaphor for better understanding. Most know that the addition of resistance in the form of weights help to build strong muscles. But in order to preventing injury, we must first make sure that we have accurately assessed our bodies ability to absorb and utilize the additional weight. Once the assessment is complete, and the right amount of weight is confirmed, it’s vital to understand how to implement the weight in order to develop the muscle correctly. In this example, it is easy to see how the introduction of additional weights (resistance) helps us to slow down, evaluate all of our options and align before proceeding.
Resistance is a natural feeling; it’s a survival mechanism. It’s a signal for us to stop, look and listen to what is going on in us and around us. When not faced with life-threatening peril, resistance is often an indicator that there is a conflict over what you are currently perceiving. Simply, your imagination, thoughts, emotions and feelings are not lining up. You might have made a logical commitment, but you are not resolved enough to achieve your goal. At least not yet.
So before you proceed, it’s important to realign (just like standing in the correct position for weight training). If not, you risk introducing doubt and other self-defeating beliefs, all of which will keep you from achieving your desired outcome.
I’ve found it helpful to think of resistance as a big yellow highlighter for your brain … it is saying “caution” something is off. Since you already know the change you want to make is in your best interest, resistance is alerting you that part of you is not on board?
In order to better understand what part of you is not perceiving the changes in a positive way, it is best to lean into resistance instead of fearing or ignoring it.
Resistance is not a sign to quit or not try. Resistance is your alert system that is trying to help you strengthen your inner resolve. It helps you to focus on what is unknown, misunderstood, and what has to be in alignment before you can achieve the changes you want to make. When you take the mystery out of resistance, you will find you are better able to navigate change and become a better stress manager.