How I got into Stress Management...

...and created a website about it!


Jill Rheaume

My name is Jill. I live in the middle of USA in the state of Kansas. I used to dream of moving to a "prettier" state, but I've come to love the rolling wheat fields as well as the rivers that assure great fishing.

But as much as I love fishing, I spend most of my time creating and running this website, OurStressfulLives.com. It's a lot of work, but I've never felt more passion and excitement for the future while doing anything else in my life.

I didn't always have passion in my life... I mostly just had stress. Little did I know that most of my stress and worry was caused by my lack of passion. I didn't even realize that I was missing that extra something. I just went to work every day feeling stressed and worried about money... much like everyone else I know.

But my life isn't like that anymore... and I'll tell you how I found my passions and created this website which completely changed the direction of my life forever.


Everything Happens For a Reason

When things seem to be going wrong in life, and when you face setbacks, it's sometimes difficult to see the lesson or understand why these things happen. But as I look back over my life so far and remember the rough patches, I feel thankful that those things happened. Why? Because my life wouldn't be what it is today if it weren't for all of those events and all of that stress.

A lot of my stress came from work or worries about money. For nearly 12 years, I've worked in the accounting field. I'm good at it, and I like it. Actually, I used to believe I loved it. I'm an analyzer so the number crunching seemed to come naturally. However, I never seemed to find the right job.

Work always seemed stressful. Each job I had contained a combination of different difficulties that drove me insane and made me unhappy. I would complain about being too busy or not having enough work. I would complain about not being promoted or having too much responsibility. I would complain about the company I worked for or the boss I had or my co-workers... Nothing made me happy.

Being someone who was constantly stressing, it pushed me to always search for new or more effective ways to relieve my stress. I became an expert in stress management by default because I researched everything I could find and tried everything that could possibly help. For me, focusing on stress management became a necessity and a sort of obsession.

Writing is one of the many things that has helped me over the years. Whether I was journaling or working on different book ideas, I was always using writing as a form of stress management. And I loved it. I still love it.


The Unexpected Truth

During one particular job a few years ago, I was struggling as usual. I had many of the same complaints and began to wonder why this was happening to me. Why did I end up in jobs that were so stressful? Why couldn't I find a happy medium? And why was it so easy for many other people to suck it up and go to work every day without complaining... while I seemed to be doing nothing but complaining? No matter where I worked or what job I had, I was unhappy.

One day I started thinking maybe it wasn't them. Maybe it was me.

After a few days of serious contemplation on that thought, I decided it was me. I needed to settle this issue once and for all and find a way to be happy, no matter where I worked or what job I had. So I did the silliest thing I could come up with and scheduled an appointment with a hypnotherapist. That in itself isn't silly... but my ultimate goal was. I walked into his office and told him that I wanted him to hypnotize me to love my job. I thought that was the surest way to be happy.

It worked. But not in the way I thought it would.

Through some intense sessions and a lot of soul searching, I discovered an unexpected truth. Accounting wasn't my thing. I was in a line of work that I had no passion for. The lack of passion in my life was what was killing me, not all the other things I had been blaming my stress on.


Finding the Passion and the Peace

At first, it was difficult for me to accept that Accounting wasn't my destiny. I was (am) so good at it, it didn't seem right that it wasn't what I was supposed to be doing. And my hypnotherapist (who was also a licensed psychologist) asked me the most important question he could have asked me at that point in my life. He said, "If you could do anything you wanted for a living, what would it be?" Considering I felt like I was facing a real turning point in my life, I let all common sense go and allowed myself to think as big or as crazy as I wanted to.

Then, I told him that I wanted to be a writer... and I followed that up with, "but that will never happen"!

I remember that day so clearly because we had one of the most profound conversations I'd ever had in my life. He challenged my thinking, the limits I was putting on myself, and my ability to pursue my dreams and discover what it's like to live a life of passion.

Click here to answer the question, "If you could do anything for a living, what would it be?"


Is it crazy or can we really pursue our dreams?

At first, I had a million reasons as to why I could not pursue a career in writing and why it wouldn't work. We both agreed that I was not a person who worked well without creativity... but yet, I was in Accounting... a job that allows for zero creativity! And it hit me, no wonder I was so stressed!

But after 12 years, could I really make a change? Do people like me really get to spend their lives doing what they love? Financially speaking, would I be able to ever work at home and write full time? Isn't it safer and more logical to stay at my 9 to 5? Shouldn't I stick with what I'm good at and what I know? Am I crazy?

I'm not much of a risk taker. But my hypnotherapist wouldn't take "no" for an answer. He said that I should follow my dreams and find my passion or quit complaining. Hmmm...

I didn't even know where to start... but he said, "the internet, duh!" He asked me... no, he told me to go home and research my options. Find out everything I could about writing careers and figure out what I would want to do... if I could do anything.



continue on to the next page to find out what I did next...







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