This tactic is called "Choose your Response"
We never really have the option to choose the stress in our lives. If we did, we would not choose for the tire to blow on the freeway in the worst traffic ever on the way to work. We would obviously choose for that same tire to blow when we are pulling out of the driveway on the way to something frivolous like a pedicure and we just happen to have an extra tire in the garage and hubby is home to fix it quickly. Oh wouldn't life be grand if that were a possibility.
Since it isn't...this little tactic will help you decide what to do with each stressful event. In this little exercise we are going to ask ourselves some simple questions.
1. Does it matter?
No I know that right now it seems like it all matters but I want to use the example of the blown tire. After you get the tire repaired, feel the expense of the new tire, and deal with the inconvenience of being late...will it matter? Probably not. Other things in our lives matter far more like the stress of losing a loved one or the stress of our child being sick.
2. How much control do you have over the situation?
I have come to the conclusion that if I can't control it, it doesn't deserve my stress. You can't control if your tire blows on the freeway but you can control making sure you have the proper tire pressure, checking the tires for any seemingly small problems, and insuring yourself with AAA coverage. Do what you can do...and then stop trying to control.
3. Is the source of stress in the past, present, or future?
You can not do a thing with the past, you can deal with the present, and prepare for the future. Let all the past stresses leave you since there is absolutely no rewind/delete button.
4. Focus on the importance!!!
There are far too many important things like our loved ones, our health, and our spirits to concern ourselves with silly things like tires being blown, a small fender bender, a misunderstanding, or forgetting to do something at work. Life will go on and when it does, be thankful for the important things you still have.