What is your stress mindset?

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Stressed

Feeling stressed out?
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

How stress affects you depends on your stress mindset.

When we say something is stressful, most people think of this as a bad thing. Some stress is harmful. But sometimes stress can be helpful. Research tells us that without stress hormones, you might have difficulty getting out of bed in the morning. Stress hormones can divert blood flow to muscles making you run faster. A little bit of stress can also improve your alertness and attention. How your stress affects you depends on your stress mindset.

We experience stress in two different situations. There’s the ongoing kind of stress that comes from a demanding job or challenging home situation. If you’re unemployed, that’s stressful. Stress can also be the result of a sudden need to perform well. Going for that big job interview, that can be significantly stressful also. Having an unexpected significant challenge, making a speech, finishing a project, or taking a big test can all be stressful.

What will happen to you when you’re faced with a challenge? Are you one of those people who fall apart under stress? Or are you the type of person that can rise to the occasion, for whom stress brings out the best in you? How stress will affect you is likely to be the result of the thing some psychologists describe as your stress mindset.

Do you have a negative stress mindset?

If you face stress with the belief that this is awful, harmful, and debilitating, you have a negative stress mindset. People with a negative stress mindset repeatedly experience stressful events as unpleasant, or debilitating. They worry about things in advance. A negative stress mindset makes it more difficult to cope with a challenging task.

People with a negative stress mindset often believe they do not have the resources necessary to cope with the stressor and experience the challenge as exhausting. If you expect things to be stressful, you will try to avoid them rather than trying something new which may be beneficial.

What’s a positive stress mindset?

People who see stress positively believe that it can improve their focus. They see challenges as opportunities to up their game. For them, stress increases their motivation. The challenging activity provides them a chance to learn and grow as well as to display their talents to others. As the pressure rises, their performance improves.

People who have a positive stress mindset, when faced with a difficult task, look for ways to cope with the challenge. They view this challenge as an opportunity for learning and growth. They are likely to come out of the experience energized regardless of the outcome.

People who believe in the potential positive outcomes from stress are less likely to be overwhelmed by difficult life circumstances.

How can you cope with pressure?

Developing a positive stress mindset can improve your ability to cope with pressure. Think of pressure as another form of exercise. Avoiding exercise results in you becoming weaker. Avoiding anything stressful reduces your ability to cope. Look for small things that you can do to challenge herself to develop better coping-skills when under stress.

Learn to interpret those butterflies in your stomach as excitement rather than thinking of them as a warning of danger. Preparing in advance for the possible stressful event can reduce that feeling of stress. A big test will be more stressful if you haven’t studied for the exam. Practicing needed skills until they are automatic will make you more confident in performance situations. But all that preparation will not help you if you interpret challenges with a negative stress mindset.

Look for the positive benefits of challenging situations.

Developing a positive stress mindset includes learning to view each new challenge as an opportunity to grow and improve. When faced with the unexpected situation, look for the potential positive outcomes. Ruminating about what could go wrong will make the event more stressful. Focusing on opportunities will reduce the feeling of stress.

To reduce stress, don’t listen to your inner critic.

Putting yourself down doesn’t improve your performance. Most of us have an inner critic telling us we are not good enough. Critics criticize. Those who accomplish things in life ignore their inner critic and move forward. If you expect to do poorly, your performance will sink to the level your brain expects.

For more on this topic see:     Stress or Productivity

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Six David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Dark Family Secrets: Some family secrets can be deadly.

What if your family secrets put you in danger?

Letters from the Dead The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead?

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

SasquatchWandering through a hole in time, they encounter Sasquatch. Can they survive?

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Books are now available on Amazon.

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking, and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders, see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter.

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Risk.

Risk.

Risk.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

“Never was anything great achieved without danger.”

― Niccolò Machiavelli

“Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.”

― Dali Lama

“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life”

― Muhammad Ali

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. There are an estimated 100,000 words in the English language that are feelings related. Some emotions are pleasant, and some are unpleasant, but all feelings can provide useful information. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Look at these related posts for more on this topic and other feelings.

Emotions and Feelings.

Inspiration

Impulsive.

Impulsive.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Impulsive.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

“Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.”

― Vincent Van Gogh

“Men are driven by two principal impulses, either by love or by fear.”

― Niccolò Machiavelli, The Discourses

“…our impulses are too strong for our judgment sometimes”

― Thomas Hardy, Tess of the D’Urbervilles

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. There are an estimated 100,000 words in the English language that are feelings related. Some emotions are pleasant, and some are unpleasant, but all feelings can provide useful information. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Look at these related posts for more on this topic and other feelings.

Emotions and Feelings.

Inspiration

Grow Your Power.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

No Power?
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Empowerment – growing your power.

Ever wish you had more power? Would you like to be more in control of your own life? Do you feel helpless to change your life? There are ways to increase your power, be more effective and have more of the things you want in life.

No matter how much or how little power you feel you have today, you can begin to grow that sense of personal power, step by step, starting today.

You may have learned to be helpless, been in a situation where no matter what you did, you were told you were wrong. Your efforts may have been invalidated and unrewarded. People may have taught you to be helpless. If you learned to be helpless you can unlearn that way of thinking.

Right now, what are you doing to enlarge your feelings of personal power? If not today, when will you begin to take control of your life?  Here are some ways to grow that personal power.

Look for areas in your life where you can take control.

If you focus only on the areas that are out of your control, you become debilitated and paralyzed. Focus on your choices.

When you think you have no control, you make it so. You may be in a situation where you are dependent on others. You have more control than you think. You may not be able to control your situation or surroundings, but you can control your attitude. You can think like a victim, or you can think like a survivor and be a participant in your life.

Look for help or a mentor to develop your skills.

If you are in a low power situation, an abusive relationship or poverty, look for resources that can help you. Teachers, counselors, or mentors can help you to grow your power.

Can’t find a person to help you? Look for books on changing your life.

Begin making your own decisions.

Look for areas in your life where you can decide for yourself. Large or small, it does not matter, begin the process of thinking about how you feel about things and what you want. Cultivate the habit of making as many decisions about your life as possible. Especially pay attention to how you feel about things. If you feel helpless you may be giving up your power to someone else without even noticing you are giving your control away.

Try new things to grow your self-esteem.

Are you going for ice cream? Look for a new flavor to try. You may like it. You may not. Check off that one from your to-do list. The more experiences you have in life, the more you can adapt to change. Like it or not change is a part of life. Doing a wider variety of activities increases your sense of competency.

Volunteering to help others make you more confident.

This is a great way to try on new behaviors. In 12 step groups, people will become secretaries of meetings or chair a meeting. The experience of trying on a new behavior can increase your self-confidence. You may surprise yourself with how well you can do something.

Practice leadership to improve your confidence.

In many residential treatment facilities, the group selects client officials. Each week as clients come and go, these officials change. Clients frequently tell me this was the first time in their lives they have been in a leadership role. They discover talents they never knew they had.

Do something for yourself to feel more confident.

Taking good care of you is not being selfish. You can’t be of service to others if you don’t have it to give. Self-care is important. Making yourself a priority tells you that you are worth being cared for. Feeling good about yourself, knowing you mater will enlarge your sense of personal power and control of your life.

Make something “your own.”

Find something that brings joy to your life. Do you have a favorite author? Which sports team is “your” team? Do you crochet? Do you cook Italian? What interest or activity says, “you?” What is your religion or spiritual connection?  Feeling that there is something you connect to makes you feel more anchored, more a part of the community.

You’re going to spend your whole life with you. Invest some time in getting to know you.

Learning a new skill will make you feel more competent.

Expanding your skills is a great way to make you feel more competent and useful. Is there something you always wanted to try? If not now, when will you do this? Look for someone in your life who has this skill and ask them to teach you. Go to places where people who have this skill hang out and learn from them. Clubs, online blogs, and short-term classes are all great sources of information. Stores sometimes teach courses on how to use the products they sell.

Get more education or training, and you will feel more confident.

Opportunities for education and training are more available than at any time in history.  There are plenty of adults of all ages back in school, learning a new skill. Check out some of the online tutorials which show you how to do something. Staying current on your skills makes you feel better about yourself.

There are some suggestions for creating empowerment and growing your personal power. Have you found any other ways to feel more competent and in charge of your life?

Leave a comment and share with the rest of us the things you have done to empower yourself and grow that personal power.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Six David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Dark Family Secrets: Some family secrets can be deadly.

What if your family secrets put you in danger?

Letters from the Dead The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead?

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

SasquatchWandering through a hole in time, they encounter Sasquatch. Can they survive?

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Books are now available on Amazon.

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking, and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter.

Honest.

Honest.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

Honest.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

“Being entirely honest with oneself is a good exercise.”

― Sigmund Freud

“The real things haven’t changed. It is still best to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasures; and have courage when things go wrong.”

― Laura Ingalls Wilder

“We are all travelers in the wilderness of this world, and the best we can find in our travels is an honest friend.”

― Robert Louis Stevenson

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. There are an estimated 100,000 words in the English language that are feelings related. Some emotions are pleasant, and some are unpleasant, but all feelings can provide useful information. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Look at these related posts for more on this topic and other feelings.

Emotions and Feelings.

Inspiration

How to Find Success & Avoid Failure.

How to Find Success & Avoid Failure.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Success or failure sign

Success or failure?
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

How do you become successful?

You will reach a destination faster and more surely if you have a map. Far too many people head off looking for success with no idea where they are going or how they will get there. They are surprised, when after years of traveling life’s roads they still have not found the success they were looking for.

If you want a life that fails, you can avoid doing most anything, but to have real success will require some planning. Be careful about following other people s directions, they may not be headed where you are going.

If you want to be successful in life invest some time in creating a road map to success that is specific to your life journey.

What does success mean to you?

To reach success you need a clear vision of what it will look like when you get there.

Not paying attention to this one has disastrous results. Lots of people go along following other people’s rules; doing what they are supposed to do, only to find when they reach the destination they are not where they wanted to be.

Did you say you wanted to make a lot of money? Are you willing to do anything to get it?  Spend some time at the begging of your success journey thinking about what is most important to you. What are your values and goals? Will it be success, if you earn the money you want by doing things that you consider morally wrong?

How much more will you need to get paid to compensate for a life of doing work you hate?

We find in career counseling that people, who are doing work they like, and that they have the abilities for, are more likely to be successful.

Get to know yourself well. You should be your own best friend. The more self-knowledge you have the more likely you are to set course for yourself that will be enjoyable and successful.

Lots of money won’t mean much if you are miserable and need to spend it all on therapy to solve your misery.

Investigate all the possibilities when you plan your success.

Be sure you have a clear, accurate understanding of what it will be like to reach this goal.

Say you decide, that for you, success is living at the beach- one time I was driving along and saw a sign that said something about an ancient beach. I took the turnoff and drove for hours. Eventually I discovered I had ended up in the middle of the desert. There was a beach there all right. An ancient beach complete with fossils. But there had not been any water near there for a gazillion years.

So often clients tell me they perused a dream, an idea of success only to find out that the reality of the destination was very different from what they expected. Make sure you know, if you become a novelist – just how much money does the average one make?  Do you know how many hours per week the top business managers work?

Would it really be worth it to you to go to college for 8 years to become a professor and then maybe work for what that school you are interested in pays? Today student debt is at an all-time high. People are finding that they can’t make enough in their chosen career field to pay back that college loan.

People can pursue career goals, go to school for a new occupation only to find out that they will need to move cross country to be where the jobs are. Is success for you getting your dream job and moving to a new city to start a new life or is it getting the best job possible while living your life in your home town?

Before you take a training class on becoming a jet aircraft mechanic, find out if there are any airports in your area that have jets. And when was the last time, they hired a mechanic at that airport?

There are plenty of posts in the blog-o-sphere about the importance of enjoying the journey. I tend to agree with that. The destination will be a lot less enjoyable if you do not enjoy the journey.

But life is not all about the journey. Failing to plan and going with the flow may mean you end up somewhere you never wanted to go.

Lots of people struggle to reach a goal thinking that will mean they are successful only to discover the goal does not meet the need they have. In some disciplines, half of the people completing a college degree never work in the field. Either there are no jobs, none in the town they live in, or they decide they really do not want to do that kind of work.

Where are you now?

Thousands of kids tell me they want to play professional sports. One look at many of them tells me they are not likely to make it.

If you hate math and science should you really pursue an engineering career?

I am not telling you that you should chuck your dream. Some skinny kids do become Olympic weightlifters. But it is a long road. Do you enjoy doing the things you need to do to get there, and when you reach the goal will it really have been worth it?

There are two approaches to getting from where you are now to where you want to be. Find the things you are strong at and build on those skills or find the things you are weak in and develop new skills.

What does not work is build a definition of success that requires you to become good at things for which you have no skills, and which requires doing things you do not like to do.

What roads will you need to follow to get there?

If you can see the path from where you are to where you want to go clearly and that is a path you chose to travel, then go for it. But a little planning, in the beginning, can help you avoid a ton of failure.

Does the job require education? Do you like going to school? If the job you want requires meeting the public and promoting the company, are you a social person and will you enjoy making public appearances?

Lots of small business owners get into a bind when they create a business that involves them doing a lot of things they like to do and then as the business grows, they find they are having to do everything and that there is very little they can turn over to others.

If you are a creative artist do you want to do your art, or do you want to create an advertising company and spend time selling to clients, while having to turn the creative work over to others?

Failure to consider the roads you will need to travel result in lots of people being unhappy along the way as they find themselves having to do things, they never wanted to do to reach a success goal that is no longer appealing when they get there.

Starting today, begin developing a plan that will take you to the place you call success.

If you enjoyed this post or think others might enjoy it please click on one or more of the “Like” or “Share” buttons on this page.

Other posts on this topic are in the category success.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Six David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Dark Family Secrets: Some family secrets can be deadly.

What if your family secrets put you in danger?

Letters from the Dead The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead?

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

SasquatchWandering through a hole in time, they encounter Sasquatch. Can they survive?

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Books are now available on Amazon.

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter.

Friendly.

Friendly.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

Friendly
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

“A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.”

― Elbert Hubbard

“It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.”

― Ralph Waldo Emerson, Emerson in His Journals

“What is a friend? A single soul dwelling in two bodies.”

― Aristotle

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. There are an estimated 100,000 words in the English language that are feelings related. Some emotions are pleasant, and some are unpleasant, but all feelings can prove useful information. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Look at these related posts for more on this topic and other feelings.

Emotions and Feelings.

Inspiration