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Stress Free Living: Why You Shouldn't Fear Acceptance
October 06, 2010
October 2010 - Issue #022: Why You Shouldn't Fear Acceptance
Welcome to the October 2010 issue of Stress Free Living! This issue is jam-packed with articles, info, & tips to help you in your quest for a less stressful life. In fact, this issue is so full, that I'm going to let the rest of the issue do the talking and I'll simply say...
I hope you enjoy this issue of the Stress Free Living ezine!
“Acceptance is not submission; it is the acknowledgement of the facts of a situation. Then deciding what you’re going to do about it.”
~ Cathleen Casey Theisen
In This Issue...
1. Feature Article: Practicing Acceptance
2. Creative Therapy: Photography & Scrapbooking
3. Featured Submission: Wanted to be a Photographer
4. Stress Relief Products: Hypnosis Downloads
5. In Case You Missed It
6. Site News: Behind the Scenes
7. All About You
Stress Free Living Ezine!
Featured Article: Acceptance
I've been thinking a lot lately about how "acceptance" of events and/or circumstance in our every day lives can have a pretty profound impact on stress levels. The tool of "acceptance" can be used in nearly any situation…. but for the most part, in this article I’m referring to every-day situations and interactions that you have with others. Tackling the “acceptance” of big life-changing or traumatic events is also helpful, but needs more detail than this article will provide, so just keep that in mind as you read.
So in your mind, come up with a recent (or current) situation with another person that seems to have gotten you all riled up, or ruffled your feathers so to speak. You may be experiencing feelings of unfairness, anger, anxiety, and your ego may even be making an appearance by making you feel as if that other person is somehow ‘worthless’ or ‘dumb’ or ‘horrible’ or ‘idiotic’ compared to you. You may feel as if you would have handled the situation better and frankly, you’re upset.
Many of these types of situations are far beyond our control. We have no control over what others think, say, or do. Becoming stressed and experiencing those negative feelings due to a circumstance that is beyond your control is only punishment for yourself. So to relieve yourself of that burden and that stress, you can use the tool of “acceptance” to simply accept the situation for what it is, nothing more and nothing less, and move on.
Seems simple, right? Well it can be if you’re really on board with it. But many people have difficulties accepting things for what they are…
One of the bigger fears (or mis-conceptions) that some people have about acceptance is that it may mean that they are condoning something that they don't particularly want to condone, or that it’s a sign of defeat, or a one-sided compromise (or submission)... but that’s not at all what acceptance is about and I want to challenge those beliefs so that you may be able to greatly reduce and relieve your stress by choosing the tool of acceptance.
The key here lies in the evaluation of the facts of the situation (not opinions and feelings) and the choice of acceptance.
But why would you want to choose to accept a situation when frankly, it's just not right or fair or whatever?
The short answer to that question is "for your sanity"... So that you can move on, move forward, and improve the quality of your life!
Often, we find it difficult to let go of what we think or feel is "right" or "fair". Our egos, our strongly held beliefs, and our stubbornness can get in the way of a logical, mature, thought process and decision. Challenging your feelings and beliefs and putting them into perspective in any situation can indeed be difficult and nearly impossible if you aren't a willing participant. But if you truly want to lift the burden off your shoulders, relieve your stress, and breathe easily again... this choice and the execution of that choice won't be difficult at all.
That's not to say that you won't have to remind yourself not to "get all worked up" over a situation that you've chosen to accept... sometimes we get caught up in the drama and get carried away and that can be a tough habit to break. But as long as you get yourself back on track quickly, it's no big deal... and certainly nothing to stress over.
So allow me to give you an example.
(Please keep in mind that this is only one side of the story and is based on one person’s views, opinions, and perceptions of the situation. So while there’s no way to know if her views are accurate… what matters is that this is her perception and therefore her reality.)
I recently spoke with a woman who was very frustrated about how things were going at work. Her complaint was that the GM of the company she worked for was not only making poor business decisions, but she felt he was crooked and had a vendetta against any employee who intentionally or unintentionally exposed the wrong-doings of himself or his prized employees (who were willing participants in his crooked schemes).
In the process of trying to do her job correctly, she often unintentionally came across many of the things that the GM and his employees tried to hide or sweep under the rug… much of which she felt was not only wrong and harming the company, but resulting in the need of the company to cut back hours (including hers) due to these losses.
In addition, her ideas to improve the company and procedures within the company were being shut-down. And anytime she attempted to point out a problem and offer a solution, she was being labeled as a trouble-maker and a whistle-blower.
So while she was being punished for being too good at her job, employees who were aligned with the GM were thriving with extra benefits (including full time hours which had become almost non-existent with anyone not on the same page as the GM).
Basically, she felt that the General Manager was running the company like a mob operation. He was the Godfather and he (and only he) had the ear of the Boss (the owner). So he was easily able to manipulate the Boss and hide his many wrong-doings while also convincing the Boss that anyone against him was the real enemy of the company.
Sounds pretty crazy, right?
Believe it or not, I hear stories like this all the time.
In this particular case, besides the difficulties with the reigning GM (who she can mostly ignore as long as she’s keeping her head down and her mouth shut) she enjoys her job. She likes what she does, she mostly enjoys her co-workers and there are many other conveniences that keep her from wanting to quit to look for a “better” job which may or may not even exist.
I discussed with her the fears and mis-conceptions (listed above) that many people have with acceptance. We discussed that acceptance is a tool of choice. Use it to accept that the situation is beyond your control, there is no need to continue to beat your head against a brick wall and continue to punish yourself with stress and anger… and accepting something does not mean you are condoning this behavior. In accepting this situation, when these situations present themselves, she must look at them and acknowledge (for lack of a better term) “it is what it is” and move on. That’s it.
Once she really understood the idea of acceptance and how she could use it in her life and in this situation in particular, she reported her progress back to me. She noted that an opportunity to use acceptance presented itself, she took a moment to talk herself past her feelings and opinions and decided to simply accept that “it is what it is”.
She said that it felt as if the world had been lifted off of her shoulders almost immediately. And that’s when she realized the burden that she had placed on herself by allowing herself to feel as if it was her job to save a company that frankly, doesn’t want to be saved. She now lets the others do whatever it is that they do, and she simply focuses on doing the job she gets paid for. She gives her opinions& ideas when she’s asked for them, and no longer takes it personally when they’re ignored or shut down. That’s just the way it is… that’s acceptance.
This tool often takes time and practice and the more you use it, the easier it will become to recognize situations that are beyond your control and not worth stressing over.
What are your thoughts on this topic? You can share them with me by simply replying to this email.
Creative Therapy Idea for October
In many regions, October is a month where you will begin to see signs of the changing of seasons. In many parts of the US for example, you'll begin to see leaves on trees change colors and it can be quite beautiful and magical. This is the perfect time of year to take advantage of the beauty and put it towards your stress relief efforts!
Photography is an excellent stress relief activity. One of the things that photography does is that it helps you to be "in the moment". It can also help you to see things in a different way and can give you different outlooks on life and the problems within it. It's an amazingly relaxing activity that can be done alone or with your children, friends, family, or pets. If you haven't tried photography as a stress relief activity, I suggest you take advantage of the change in seasons and get started today!
And once you're finished, another great stress relief activity is scrapbooking. You can take the pictures that you took during your stress relief session, or you can pull out photos that you already have. Scrapbooking is a great creative activity that can help you take your mind off of whatever struggles you are facing and allow you to re-live your most cherished moments by turning those memories into beautiful scrapbook pages that you can keep to yourself or share with others.
And again, Scrapbooking can be a relaxing activity that you do by yourself, or a fun activity that you share with your children, other family members, or friends…. But while your pets might be in the pictures, they'll probably have to sit this activity out :)
See this article on About.com for these and other great ideas to relieve your stress!
Featured Submission: Wanted to be a Photographer
I often talk about how ignoring your dreams and your passions can lead to feelings of stress, loss, and a nagging feeling of general unhappiness and satisfaction with life. Yet, as life gets in the way, too many of us allow our passions to go unfulfilled.
So to re-awaken those dusty dreams, I asked the question "What's Your Passion?" If you could do anything for a living, what would it be? So this month's featured submission answers that question for one reader…
Wanted to be a Photographer
By Tammy, Missouri, USA
It's kind of funny that I stumbled across this information on your site. I've been thinking a lot lately about the things in life that I wanted to do, but didn't.
I always wanted to be a photographer, I love taking pictures of everything. But after High School, I took a job as a receptionist at a medical building hoping to earn money to go to school or take some classes. I have a lot to learn when it comes to photography.
I quickly found out how hard it was to be an adult. Between the hours I work and the bills that needed to be paid, there was very little time or money left over to follow my dreams.
Through the years, I've learned more about business than I intended and am currently the Office Manager. It's been 17 years since I graduated High School and it's been at least 13 or 14 years since I've given up on the idea of being a photographer. Life just gets in the way of our dreams some times.
And in reading your story of how you decided to build this website, I identify with you when you say that it takes courage to move away from the safety of your 9 to 5 job to follow your dreams and passions.
But after seeing how you've taken that step, I am now thinking I will enroll in some classes next semester at the local college. Even if it only ever ends up being a hobby, I figure it's better to have the things I enjoy in my life a little bit rather than not at all.
I think that I also experience a lot of stress from ignoring my passions. It sometimes feels like there's a whole other person deep inside of me that I've been silencing for years and the idea of letting that person back out (even if only a little) feels very good.
Thank you for letting people like me talk about this stuff and giving us inspiration to reconnect with our passions.
I'd like to thank Tammy for sharing her passion with us! Click here to see this submission online and to leave comments for Tammy. Join the discussion and share YOUR passions…. Click here to submit your story today!
In the Spotlight: Stress Relief Products
One of my favorite tools for relieving stress is hypnosis. And if you haven't yet, what's holding you back? Maybe you just don't know where to start or how to "do hypnosis".
One of the easiest ways to practice hypnosis is through guided hypnosis via audio and there are a lot of resources and options online for you to use. I don't often download my audios (I share my normal product of choice for hypnosis audios in this hypnosis product review on my website). However, I have found a good, inexpensive resource for downloading hypnosis audios and one of the best parts about it is that you have access to your purchase immediately... and again, they're extremely affordable.
Click here for the audio "Relieve Stress and Tension" for only $12.95.
Or, you can use the search box below to search their entire library of hypnosis downloads.
To learn more about using hypnosis for stress relief, check out the links below:
Hypnosis for Stress Relief
Introduction to Hypnosis E-Course
The Stressful Lives Mini-Guide to Hypnosis
In Case You Missed It
Do you struggle with self-esteem?
If you answered "Yes", than this article on Stress and Self-Esteem is a must read. Then, take the "30-day NO Self-Esteem Challenge" and share your results in the comments section under the article.
Pets and Stress
Have you been following the story of Kai & Patches as we help to relieve their stress caused by long-term boarding? See the latest updates and share your comments:
September 2010: Updates on Kai & Patches
If you want to be notified of new pages as they're put up on the site, subscribe to the site blog RSS feed!
Site News: Behind the Scenes
There is a lot that goes in to running and building a website... some of it you see, and some of it you don't. And as usual, there have been recent updates and changes to the site with a lot more on the way. Here's the Lowdown:
As this site continues to grow and grow, it becomes an ever "growing" challenge for me to keep the site updated so that it is easy to navigate. Often times, when people arrive for the first time on a large website, it becomes overwhelming! But as the owner of a "stress" website, the last thing I want is for the site itself to add to your stress or create an overwhelming sensation.
One of the things I did recently that you may have noticed was reduced the amount of buttons on the navigation (or menu) bar. All of the pages you've come to know and love are still on the site, but they're organized in a cleaner, and simpler way that allows the menu bar to remain un-cluttered, thus reducing the chance that my visitors will take one look at all of the many options and feel... not only overwhelmed, but confused and unsure of where to even start.
Another recent change was the Home page. It's probably not a change that is as obvious as reducing the menu bar options, but I hope that it will still be just as beneficial. The new Home page reads more like a menu. You'll find that it is sectioned with labes of different topics, including many (but not all) of the different links and pages within those topics, as well as descriptions for those links. If you're ever unsure of where you want to go or what you want to find, browse through the Home page. It's sure to give you lots of ideas and save you lots of time.
And because there have been so many navigation changes and moves, the sitmap will also need to be updated. It is definitely a priority on my list and I hope to have it orgainzed and displaying each and every page on my site very soon.
So while some of those changes are bigger than others... and some of them (or all of them) you may have not even noticed, but trust me when I tell you that I'm working on a new change that will be impossible to ignore! For years I've been talking about giving the site a face lift... but often other things come up and other priorities take over. But I am officially announcing that I have begun designing the new OurStressfulLives.com. This is such a large undertaking that I've put all of my other projects and to-do lists on hold until this is complete! At this point, I still have quite a way to go before I'm ready to switch out the old with the new... but when I'm finished, the site will have all the same content you've grown to love and rely on, but it will also leave lots of room to grow (and I plan to really GROW this site!). The new design of OurStressfulLives.com will be much more modern and updated than the current site and in all likelyhood, it will bare little resemblance to the way the site currently looks.
But don't worry, I'll keep you updated and warn you before I do the switch... but don't be surprised if you show up one day and immediately wonder if you came to the same place :) Just look for the "OurStressfulLives.com" sign at the top of the page and you'll always know that you're right where you were meant to be.
All About You
I'd love to hear from You!
To share your feedback on this issue, Please click here to be directed to a survey.
If you have any questions about stress or stress management, submit them on our Ask The Expert page! And don't forget to visit the site regularly to either submit your own stories & tips or read & comment on what others have written.
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Thank you for spending some time with me today, I hope you have enjoyed your copy of the Stress Free Living ezine. If there is something you'd like to see next month, please reply to this email and let me know!
Wishing you all the very best,
Helping you live a less stressful life.
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