It effects all of us at some point, but why do some people cope better with the same stress than others? This video from Dr Mike Evans is an interesting and insightful look into the single most important thing that will determine your ability to cope with stress.
And what is it? Empirical analysis suggests that it is your ability to control your thoughts that determines how well you manage stress. As he quotes; “between stimulus and response there is a space”. This space is taken up with your thoughts about the situation, and these are up to you to control.
Studies have shown that those who practiced Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Mindfulness had a much better response to stress than those who didn’t. In a study of cancer patients, those who practiced CBT along with their regular treatment had a 28% lower death rate than those who just had the regular treatment. The point is being able to let go of worry and distraction and focus your thoughts more positively.
In another study of executives that were in danger of being retrenched during an economic crisis, it was found that thoughts were a key difference between those who experienced high stress from the situation and those who didn’t. Those who responded better were found to have 3 C’s; commitment – where standards would be maintained no matter what, control – or being able to let go of control where necessary and; change – an ability to adapt and choose to control what they could.
In the end it is all about you and how you adapt and the thoughts you harbor towards stress. It is recommended that you keep things simple; write a story or letter or do something to release yourself of the stressful situation. They say your ability to cope with stress is only 10% based on what actually happened and 90% to do with how you respond to it. So work on your ability to control your thinking and you could find that your management of stress is improved.