Coping With Stress: What’s The Problem? (Part 2)

by Doc Orman, M.D.

great advice for coping with stressPreviously in this blog, we talked about another classic example of how many people fail to define their problems correctly, especially when they are feeling stressed.

This fundamental mistake is considering that their problem (to be solved) is… STRESS…when in fact it is always something else.

Stress Is NEVER The Problem!

Since “stress” is just a word that stands for a multitude of other specific problems in your life, you should never be satisfied with defining your problem as STRESS.  While you are certainly free to continue doing this, if you do, it’s unlikely that you will be able to address your real problems effectively.

The value of recognizing that “stress” is just a word it that it encourages you to define your problems much more specifically.  This, in turn, puts you in better position to both identify and deal with each problem’s underlying causes.

On the other hand, misidentifying your problems as STRESS is a classic mistake that keeps you from focusing on the causes of each of your problems individually.

So the very first step in dealing with any stressful problem is to define that problem just as specifically as you can.  Now, even if you remember to orient yourself (and your thinking) in this way, there are still mistakes you can make in defining your problem(s) correctly.  We’ll see some examples of this in my third and final post on this topic this week.

A Skill Worth Developing

Most people assume that having clarity about the true nature of the problems they are struggling with is something that everyone is able to do very easily.  Unfortunately, this is not the case.

As we saw in my last post, with the example of Brad Pitt’s character (Billy Beane) in the movie Money Ball, the ability to see through to the very heart of certain problems in life is an uncommon skill that is not always well-developed in most individuals.

You can gain this skill with experience.  You can also get it by studying how very good thinkers/problem solvers sort through all of the possible definitions, to arrive at the one best formulation that gives them the greatest opportunity for success.

We’ll look at a few examples of how to do this in my next post to follow.

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