Taking Accountability for Your Stress

You know how they say people can’t drive us crazy if we don’t give them the keys? Or how the only thing we can control in life is our response?

Well, I’ve been thinking about this for a long time—more than a decade in fact—and while I understand this on a rational level, it hasn’t snuck into my internal workings. I.e. It makes sense, but I still don’t know how to manage stress caused by others.

This morning I had an awakened moment. I got really riled up while arguing with my husband over each of our roles for getting ourselves and our toddler daughter ready in the morning. At the end of our heated discussion my heart felt like it was in a knot.

But this time, instead of saying, “You made me get super tense! My chest is so tight!” I owned it and I thought to myself, “I have a learned stress response that I habitually get SUPER stressed over things. My husband triggered this tension, but he didn’t cause it to happen in the first place—I’ve had it for years!”

And then I picked myself up (emotionally that is, I was already standing), and walked upstairs to my meditative yoga room overlooking our pine trees. And I lay down, stared at the trees, and breathed.

After a few minutes of this, the tightness in my chest was gone. And I could go on with the rest of my day without holding onto most of the morning’s mayhem.

When Stress Takes You Over, Can Your Grab the Reigns?

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