What Are The Benefits Of Knowing That Stress Is Just A Word? (Part 2)

by Doc Orman, M.D.


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Read this post to learn even more about how you can benefit from understanding that stress is just a word.This week, I’ve been revisiting the very important principle that stress is just a word and how we can benefit from always reminding ourselves of this undeniable truth.

In my first post this week, I pointed out that whenever we think we are suffering from stress…we are not.  We are actually suffering from very specific problems, each of which has very specific underlying causes.

Then, in my second post this week, I revisited the first of a two-part series of earlier blog posts on how we can benefit from always reminding ourselves that stress is just a word.

Today, I want to bring your attention to the second post in this two-part series.  I have also included some added commentary, where appropriate.

Coping With Stress: How We Benefit From Knowing Stress Is Just A Word (Part2)

by Doc Orman, M.D. on October 5, 2011

In the previous post on this topic (Part 1), we began to explore exactly how we benefit from knowing that stress is just a word.

We also noted that one of the main benefits of this way of thinking about stress is that it forces you to identify and define your problems more specifically.  This, in turn, encourages you to ask more problem-focused questions. 

[This doesn’t force you to ask these questions…you actually have to be interested in and willing to do this on your own…but it does put you into position to do this.] 

Let’s take a closer look now at some examples of these types of questions and how they can benefit you more than simply asking yourself “how can I cope with my stress?” 

Problem-Focused Questions  

Consider the difference between asking yourself “How can I deal with my stress?” and asking yourself the following types of problem-focused questions 

  1.  I seem to be getting angry all the time. I wonder how I can learn to better understand and deal with my anger?
  2.  I seem to be worrying quite a lot. I wonder how I can learn to deal with worry?
  3.  I seem to be having recurring financial problems.  I wonder what’s not working with the way I’m thinking about or dealing with money?
  4.  I seem to be having little success in my interpersonal relationships.    I wonder what’s going on? And how can I improve my ability in this area?
  5.  I’m feeling anxious all the time, my heart keeps racing, I feel sweaty, nervous and tense much of the time.  How can I better understand and deal with each of these emotional and physical problems? 

I think it’s pretty clear that the major benefit of asking these more focused questions is they are much more targeted on the real problems you might be struggling with.  

They also put you in position to identify and deal with the root causes of each specific problem you might focus on. 

[Again, you have to do the work of not only asking these types of questions, but also of discovering and then dealing with their underlying causes. This is not always easy to do, which is one reason why most people settle for only addressing symptoms.  But it can be done by almost anyone, provided you have the right conceptual framework for doing so, and provided you get some critically important training.  Most of my efforts to help people deal with stress over the past 30 years has centered upon helping them to better understand what I call the “hidden causes” of their problems.  In my experience, once people become very skilled at doing this, their ability to deal with their stress expands dramatically.] 

Asking “How can I deal with my stress?” on the other hand, immediately puts you at a huge disadvantage. 

So once again, remembering stress is just a word is not a trivial exercise at all.  It’s the gateway to being able to identify and then deal with the underlying causes of your problems. 

[I hope you’ve enjoyed revisiting these three important blog posts from the past. Even if you saw them when they originally were published, it never hurts to be exposed to them once again.  Also, I hope you are enjoying the new flower images that I have added to each post, which allows me to share these blog posts more widely on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.  If you haven’t yet visited my Pinterest boards, please do so at http://pinterest.com/docorman and either follow me there (all my boards) or simply follow the ones that most interest you. Also, please feel free to comment on, like, or repin any images that you think others should be aware of.]

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