Set Yourself Free From Needless Stress

SDo you find yourself arguing with your family about so many things; your partner is unorganized, your teen procrastinates, your extended family is all about drama? Why do we continually engage in these conflicts over and over when nothing changes?

I think that we assume that if we continue to engage in the interaction and we try to correct their behavior that they will eventually see the wisdom of our ideas and they will change. But this takes a lot of energy and is it really the best use of our time? We think that life would be easier if we could just change these people and they would do things our way. I think we need to re-evaluate, decide where we can best use our energy. 

Let me give you an example. If you are dealing with someone who is a procrastinator, this could be your child, your spouse or a friend. They do everything at the last minute, you can see the disaster approaching, and when it does they might turn to you for help or they complain to you about their situation. So in the past you try to avoid this by warning them continually along the way and then when they don’t listen we step in at the last minute and help them. This takes a lot of our energy and it is frustrating. Why don’t they just listen in the first place?

This is not your problem to solve, so don’t make it your problem. That is the key, we take on problems that we don’t need to. The better strategy is to give your advice once and then let the scenario unfold. Let them experience the consequences and you step away. Focus your energy on something else. 

This applies to many things. Why do we let ourselves get sucked into other peoples drama? Why do we try to change someones way of doing things? There are many ways to do something so unless it effects you then don’t get involved. I understand that some people want to suck you into the interaction because they benefit from your involvement but this is where you have to set a boundary and let them know that you are no longer going to play that role. It causes you stress and is not a good use of your energy. 

When we step away and we set a boundary we get freedom from that stress. We can now focus our energy on something that will bring us joy. Instead of focusing on the thing that your partner or child does that stresses you, focus on something that is positive. Plan something fun you can do together. The other person will eventually benefit too because they no longer have to deal with your stress inducing involvement in their behavior. 

So as we move into a new year, let’s re-evaluate what we want to put our energy into. Minimize the stress that you take on and you will be a more pleasant person for your family and friends. They will have to adjust to the change but in the long run you each will be happier. 

It is not easy to change patterns of behavior. If you need help and support, give us a call at 562-537-2947.

Written by Lisa Strong