Good News about Stress

Good News about Stress

As a kindergarten teacher, you face several new and unique challenges every day. You often find yourself struggling with establishing the right curriculum, dealing with the different needs of children simultaneously and communicating minor details about them with the parents. All this can be more or less stressful.

But did you know that harmful effects of stress on your health are not inevitable? How you think and how you react can transform your experience of stress.

Let me tell you a story about a psychologist who was teaching the audience about stress management. When he raised the glass of water, everyone expected him to ask if the glass was half empty or half full.

Instead, he asked with a smile on his face: How heavy is this glass of water?

The answers were different, from 100 to 500 grams. The psychologist answered that absolute weight is not even important.

“It depends on how long I’m holding it,” he said. “If I hold it for a minute, it is not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I will have pain in my hand. If I hold it for a day, my arm will be numbed and paralyzed. In any case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the harder it gets.”

Then he continued: “Stress and worries in life are like a glass of water. Think about them for a short time and nothing will happen. Think about them for a long time and they start to hurt. Think about them all day and you will feel paralyzed and not able to do anything.”

Then he said to the audience: “Don’t forget to put down your glass!

Very thoughtful story, isn’t it? Are you holding a glass? Put it down!

Psychologist Kelly Mcgonigal, the author of the book the Upside of stress, will show you another perspective on stress. She has translated academic research into practical strategies for health, happiness and personal success.

I cannot agree more with Kelly about finding meaning in life. It is so huge and important in whatever we do. If we find a deeper meaning in what we do, the whole thing shifts. We have more energy, we work better and more effectively. We not only walk but fly through life.

Summary of simple and helpful strategies for stress management:

  • Looking at stress as something positive,
  • Viewing stress responses of our body as helpful (like pounding heart is preparing us for action; breathing faster is the way for preparing us to get more oxygen in our brain so that we can deal with stressful situation more effectively),
  • Caring for others eliminates the harmful stress effects on our body.

And one more important note:

“We need to take responsibility for our thoughts and actions. The problem are not life events but how we view them and react to them.”

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