How To Win Against Stress: Adopting A Winning Mindset—Part 1

by Doc Orman, M.D.

How To Win Against Stress Part 2

This is the second article in a six-part series on how to win against stress. If you missed the previous article, here are the topics that will be covered in each of the parts of this series:

How To Win Against Stress:

Creating A Winning Game Plan

Adopting A Winning Mindset—Part 1

Adopting A Winning Mindset—Part 2

Core Principles For Success

Core Strategies For Success

Leadership And Coaching

Why View Stress As A Game?

If you really want to learn how to win against stress, the first thing you need to do is look all around you and notice that most people are not winning against stress today. The second thing you need to do is notice that each of these people, who is struggling with stress, already has a mindset about it—and it’s not a winning one.

Therefore, if you are going to adopt a winning mindset, the mindset you adopt has got to be a whole lot different (and better) than the mindsets that most other people have!

The centerpiece to this new and different winning mindset is to voluntarily choose to think of stress as a game. Now why in the world would you want to choose to do this?

The answer is simple—because stress really is very much like a game. This is not to trivialize it, or not take it seriously, or not appreciate all the harm and misery stress can produce. Rather, it is simply to acknowledge that stress is very much like a contest—a battle for superiority between two opposing forces.

One of those forces is YOU. The other is something else. And the object of the “game” is for you to emerge victorious.

Who Are The Players In This Game?

Interestingly enough, both of the two players in this game reside within your body. While many people falsely believe that the game of stress is a contest between you and all the external pressures, demands, and events in your life, it’s almost impossible to win this game with this type of mindset.

People who have discovered how to win against stress, regardless of the ups and downs of their external circumstances, are people who have come to appreciate that stress is ultimately an inside game.

It’s a game between your internal strengths and your internal opponents. It’s a game between your natural abilities to be happy, calm, relaxed, confident, and effective, and all your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, opinions and experiences to the contrary.

It’s ultimately a battle between your native intelligence, your integrity, your courage, your creativity, your resourcefulness, and your ability to learn, grow, and prosper vs. your automatic thoughts and automatic behavior tendencies that get you into trouble and cause you to experience problems, conflicts and stress in your life.

You’ve Been Playing This Game All Along

Whether you know it or not—you’ve been playing (and often losing) this game all along. Ever since you were a child.

You may not be accustomed to looking at stress this way, but that’s exactly why you need a new and more empowering mindset.

Because it’s hard to win any game when you are totally unaware that you are playing it. And it’s even harder to win any game when you don’t correctly understand who the real players are, what specific tactics they use, who your opponent really is, and how your opponent is going to try to defeat you.

So your very first step in developing a good game plan for winning against stress is to adopt the mindset that stress can best be viewed as a game—and then get busy adopting other parts of a mindset that will finally allow you to begin winning this game.

We’ll continue this mindset discussion in the third post in this series.

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