Stink Bug Stress (Part 3)

by Doc Orman, M.D.

Stink Bug Stress Part 3This week, I’ve been exploring the topic of stink bugs and how they can lead to stress for many people today. 

I’ve also been exploring one of the primary coping skills that keep people from becoming overly stressed by stink bugs (and many other things in life)—the art of creative and positive acceptance.

If you missed the first two posts in this discussion, you can read them here:

Stink Bug Stress—Part 1

Stink Bug Stress—Part 2

The Opposite Of Positive Acceptance

If creative, positive acceptance is one of the keys to having a low-stress life, then it’s opposite is one of the most common stress-generators known to mankind. We’ve already alluded to this opposite reaction when we noted that acceptance can be partially defined as “enduring without protest or reaction.”

The opposite of graciously accepting and adapting to whatever challenges life throws at you is forcefully resisting or opposing whatever comes your way.  It sometimes manifests by overt protesting, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg.

Resisting whatever may be happening in your life can take many different forms, such as:

  • Refusing to honestly assess both your strengths and your weaknesses
  • Refusing to surrender to things you may not like but are unable to change
  • Not being open to feedback or constructive criticism from others
  • Getting frustrated or angry whenever life doesn’t go the way you want
  • Getting frustrated or angry whenever other people don’t behave as you might like them to behave
  • Thinking that bad things should never happen to good people
  • Having unrealistic expectations or demands that life can rarely deliver

Resisting life takes energy, forcefulness and often results in failure.  Acceptance, on the other hand, is one of the easiest and effortless things to do, once you get the hang of it.

Resistance is constantly struggling to make minimal progress swimming or paddling upstream.  Acceptance is simply turning 180 degrees around and letting the force and power of the water take you wherever it is going, with you just sitting back and enjoying the ride.

For some strange reason, our society teaches us to value resistance much more than we value acceptance.  Perhaps this is because acceptance is sometimes viewed as weakness or capitulation, which goes against our proud and competitive upbringing.

But true creative, positive acceptance is not defeatist capitulation at all.  It is simply the honest recognition that both acceptance and resistance are choices we can make.  And we can make these choices automatically—and often unconsciously—or we can consciously choose to favor one way of responding over the other.

Do Stink Bugs Really Stink?

I return to the question I posed at the beginning of this discussion: Does it really stink/suck to have stink bugs in your house?

For many people who have chosen to accept these relatively harmless home invaders, the answer is “no.”  Yet for those who resist living in peace and harmony with the stink bugs around them, the answer is “yes” but only because they continue to actively and emotionally resist them.

This constant battle between acceptance and resistance in our lives is one of the great leverage points all of us have to either positively or negatively influence the overall quality/equanimity of our lives.

And you can see this epic battle of coping strategies play itself out in many common problems we experience, from dealing with death, divorce, drug addiction, terrorism, and yes—even the lowly stink bug—which is why I took the time to write about this subject this week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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