You and Stress: Victim or Victor?

Kristina Abernathy

You and Stress: Victim or Victor?

When Susyn was 14, she wrote in her journal, “What would the world be like if everybody loved themselves?” She forgot about that entry for years. But, twenty years ago, going through her journals she saw the words she’d written as a 14-year old, and had an instant flashback remembering that self-esteem was the topic of her master’s thesis.

She’s now a Whole Hearted Living coach and mentor, corporate consultant and executive coach, self-esteem expert, and interfaith minister. She’s also written several books including The Whole Hearted Life: Big Changes and Greater Happiness Week by Week.

Recognizing stress

When she started her corporate consulting practice, she quickly discovered that when people spoke about their problems, what they really wanted to know was what to do to release the stress.

“What I already knew from my own experience and having already worked with many people is that when we're stressed, our focus is so much on the problem and getting rid of the discomfort related to the problem that we don't necessarily come up with the best solutions.

And that a much more powerful approach is to recognize when we're stressed. So, to be aware of both what are the circumstances, or people, or situations that trigger my stress, really my distress, and what's my personal stress signature?”

She started incorporating this into all of the work that she did. 

Victor or victim?

She says that when we feel victimized by a circumstance or by something someone said, we don't have access to the full range of our creativity so we don't have access to change our perception.

“Then we become victimized by the outside circumstance. Rather than seeing that I have a choice in how I view the circumstance. But, it takes practice. It's not a one-shot deal.”

As soon as you notice you're stressed, pat yourself on the back for noticing, and then use techniques to deal with it.

"I ask that tension in my body, ‘What do you need? And, if it's that I need someone else to do something, that's my head talking. So, you really need to ask your heart, your intuition, your higher power, that connected place, 'What do I need?' Maybe I need to take a deep breath, go for a walk, or call up someone and vent. Or, I need to say to my stress, 'Thank you for sharing. I choose being peaceful.'" 

She says one way to think of being human is that we're composed of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects. In terms of being victorious in the presence of stress, we can enter through any one of those doorways. 

Join Susyn Reeve for You & Stress: Victim or Victor?, Tuesday, April 12. She'll discuss identifying your stressors, becoming aware of your stress signature, and practicing "stress victor" techniques.

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