3 powerful questions that will quickly reduce your stress
Yesterday I was running late to pick-up my son at school. I’ve already been late once this week and it looked like it was going to happen again. I imagined the irritated look on my son’s face. I imagined the lady in the school office shaking her head in disbelief and disapproval. As I glanced at my watch, I started getting irritated with myself. “Why didn’t I plan better? Why didn’t I pay more attention to the time? Other parents manage to pick-up their children on time, why can’t I?”
These questions were negative and disempowering. They made me feel more frustrated and stressed out. I realized that I needed to ask myself more empowering questions. Psychologists tell us that simply by asking ourselves better questions we can have a happier and healthier life.
When frustrations and hassles arise, ask yourself the following three questions to help reduce your stress and elevate your mood:
1. What can I be thankful for in this situation? As I drove to the school, I realized that I was actually very fortunate. I get to pick-up my children each day after school. Most dads don’t get to do this. They are stuck in an office until 5:30 p.m. or later. My job as a pastor gives me a lot of flexibility and enables me to have quality time with my kids. I am truly blessed.
When you face daily hassles, remember to look for the blessing hidden in almost every situation. If you can’t think of anything, remind yourself that people in Bangladesh would love to have your problems.
2. What can I learn from this? There is an old saying that if you fail to plan that you are planning to fail. I reminded myself to always allow extra time for appointments and traffic delays. Rather than criticize yourself, look for the life lesson. Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.
3. Will this matter in 5 years? This is a powerful question that will help you change your perspective. In most cases you will realize that you won’t even remember it in 5 days. Take a chill-pill Phil. Learn to laugh at your self. He who laughs, lasts.
As I arrived in the school office, I greeted my son cheerfully and thanked the office lady. My son learned to be more patient with me and I learned to be more patient with my self.
Can you think of any other empowering questions that elevate your mood and lower your stress? Share your insights in the box below.