Powerful and Courageous Ways To Vaccinate Yourself From Stress (Yes, Really!)

We all have stress…even really good stress like winning the lottery or even getting married, or landing a dream job, can have dire consequences.

So even more important than stress management is stress inoculation…much like a flu vaccine, it prevents a worse case scenario and leaves you with resources to fight the invasion of a stressor. And just like a vaccine, it won’t fight off everything, but the symptoms will be minor and manageable. And booster shots are available by preparing your self for resilience and emotional agility.

Change is either Chosen or Not Chosen. When we get married, take a new job, or move to a new town, that is chosen change…and still stressful, But unchosen change may be more difficult as it comes unexpectedly such as death of a loved one, a medical diagnosis of cancer, or an unexpected pregnancy, or losing a job. Eventually, we have to make unchosen change chosen…. we have to show the courage to adapt, and accept and learn from whatever is new, and find supportive resources to assist with making the stressors move to the background and make new choices out of forward looking intentions. A common mantra I have lived by for many years is “Every experience is a good experience…eventually.”

Eventually, we must accept what has happened after a proper period of grief, or attitude adjustment, and accept what is true now, and recreate our life accordingly.

In my work with individuals or groups and in my writings, I emphasize the purposeful task of naming and taming our gremlins, or energy vampires…those unresolved and tolerated challenges that suck the energy from us. These can be simple things, like clutter that needs organizing, or repairs that need completing or they can be more difficult tasks such as a courageous conversation that is needed with a friend or loved one. When you banish your energy vampires or gremlins, you will sense a refueling of energy to tackle other things in a timelier manner…like now.

And, after you learn to handle energy drainers, you can focus on being purposeful in inviting energy gainers into your life. What gives you energy? Short vacations with your honey? Attending an art exhibit or theatrical event? Walking on the beach, or the mountains or a country trail by a lake? If energy gainers find a more prominent and purposeful place in your life, you will have the stress inoculation you need when stuff happens. All these activities act like booster shots for inoculations.

Life is continuously providing us information or “messages.” When we do not listen, the messages become lessons. When we do not learn, the lessons become problems. When we don’t address the problems, they become crises. When crises go unresolved, they create chaos in our lives. Great students of life seek to live on the levels of messages and lessons, not waiting for them to become problems, crises and chaos. Keeping life’s processes on the lesson and message level makes living so much more enjoyable. As is often said, no matter how hard we plan, shit happens. It’s what we do with it and how we respond that matters most.

Often we hear the phrase “process of elimination” when handling things that are bugging us. I prefer to consider a “process of illumination.” What is the situation teaching you? What can you learn about your self? If you have inoculated yourself against damaging stress, you will be able to look at opportunity rather than a feeling of woe and despair.

Ways to inoculate your self for future stress

  1. Make a list of your energy vampires, big and small. Then begin tacking them one at a time. But don’t forget the ones that you dread. Do them after the easy ones, and you’ll feel renewed in body and spirit.
  2. Do it, Delegate it, Dump it or Delay it. This method I use all the time. Look at your tolerations. As above, take it on and do something. If you need help from another, delegate it (like organizing your office) or partner with another for task assistance. If there are things on your energy drainer list that cannot be completed, (e.g. you cannot change another’s behavior or personality) just dump it off your list. It’s out of your control. Focus on what you can do, not what you cant.
  3. Or you can delay it. This is not giving permission to deny or avoid…just delay into the future until you have the resources available to complete the removal of this energy drainer.

Follow these easy tips and live with less stress and be vaccinated from severe overload.


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