Fact Checked

The Secret Questions to Stop Stress in Its Tracks

Secret questions to stop stress

Secret questions to stop stress image - (Image Credit: Shutterstock); Author picture - (Image Credit: Author)

One day I was working with a client who said, “You know, I have a lot of trouble keeping the stress in my head from spiraling out of control. Do you have any ideas on how to stop stress before it gets out of hand?”

Years ago I used to struggle with the same problem. I knew how to pick apart my feelings after a stressful moment, but I really didn’t have a strategy for stopping feelings of distress from escalating while in the middle of overwhelming situations. What good is knowing how to pick apart emotions later if you can’t deal with stuff while it’s happening?

I created these questions for myself but found my clients needed them, too. I call them The Power Questions. To get the most out of them, I recommend thinking of a recent stressful situation and apply the questions to that. What could you have done differently if you had asked yourselves The Power Questions? Write your answers down. Keep the questions on an index card in your pocket or handbag. If you forget to use them, don’t beat yourself up; pull them out, apply them to whatever situation you’re thinking of, and tell yourself, “Now I know what to do next time!”

Here are The Power Questions:

1. “How Important Is This, Really?”

So many times, we assign large value to events that really aren’t that important. Sometimes, we’re concerned about something that is important, just not right now.

For example, someone cuts you off in a line at the store. Yes, that was rude of them. Yes, it might make you a few minutes late. But how important is it, really? Will you remember it this afternoon? Next week? In 5 years? Will it affect the course of your life? Will it affect the weather on Jupiter? Probably not.

2. “What Is Something Positive and Constructive I Can Do About This?”

A lot of times we get stressed about things over which we have no control. Instead of getting angry, stressed out, worried, or irritated, identify the problem, stop stress and seek a positive and constructive solution. I say “positive and constructive” because yelling at someone or delivering a one-fingered salute is probably not going to help.

In our line-cutting example, what is something you can do about it? Well, you could let it go. Why get upset over someone else’s behavior? You could also set a limit: “It seems like you didn’t notice the line. Could you please go to the end? We’ve all been waiting.”

Positive and constructive attitude

3. “What Emotions Am I Feeling?”

When we get angry, worried, fearful, etc., the emotion can seem like a huge cloud hovering over us. Identify and label them – this shrinks overwhelming emotions down in your mind’s eye to something more manageable. “I’m feeling angry because…” “I’m feeling worried because…”

Next, strap them in the “backseat” of your mind, like you would with your kids when they’re misbehaving. (You can visualize this in your head, if that’s helpful.) Don’t push those emotions away – they’ll only come back to bite you harder, later. Tell them, “You can ride along, but I’m driving – we have things to do.”

Congratulate yourself for being a human being, too – we all feel emotions, and you can tell yourself, “This is what it’s like to feel angry/irritated/worried/concerned.”

OK, so let’s apply this to our example. You would say, “I’m angry because someone just cut into the line. That’s not fair, and it’s irritating. While I’m angry and irritated, I’m also proud that I asked her to go to the end of the line without getting hostile. So let’s strap in all these emotions so I can pay for my stuff and continue my day.”

4. “What Would The Person I Want To Be Do In This Situation?”

This one requires a little prep work. Think about the person you’d like to be. Is that person kind? Strong? Responsible? Creative? Hard working? Write these traits down. Give that person a name, if you want. Your behavior should reflect the qualities of the person you want to be. When faced with a stressful situation, ask yourself what the amazing person you want to be would do. If you can’t think of a good answer, then ask yourself, “What would my hero do?”

Line cutting: I’ll bet you can answer this one. Think Superman here: “Ma’am, we’ve all been waiting. Seems like you didn’t notice the line; please go to the end. Thanks.”

Qualities of the person

5. “How Do I Want To Feel At The End Of The Day?”

This one is the easiest. Do you want to feel happy and proud that you were able to deal with the crap of the day with grace, or do you want to feel guilty and ashamed that you lost your cool? Sometimes it seems like it’s going to feel better in the moment to lose it, freak out, vent, or whatever is appealing at the time; but when you remember how you’re going to feel at the end of the day, it’s enough for you to change your mind.

Think about how you’d feel if you freaked out at the line cutter. How would you feel at the end of the day? Is that really the way you want to feel? Wouldn’t it feel better if you were proud that you either let it go because it wasn’t really important, or politely asked her to move?

The best way to learn new habits is to practice! I don’t normally get past the first two questions before I’m able to refocus. Keep at it, and most of all, have fun with it! By making a game out of learning new skills, we learn them faster and use them more frequently.

Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes only. The content on our website is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or therapy. You should NEVER disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking treatment due to something you have read on our website and we will not be held responsible for any adverse health condition or injury that occurs as a result of doing so.
Author
Facebook instagram

Susan Petang

Certified Life Coach

Susan Petang is a Certified Life Coach, helping those who struggle with stress find relief, handle their fears...

View More

0 Reviews for The Secret Questions to Stop Stress in Its Tracks

The Secret Questions to Stop Stress in Its Tracks
The Secret Questions to Stop Stress in Its Tracks Reviewer Rating
3 / 5.0
The Secret Questions to Stop Stress in Its Tracks
Write a Review Please review the Guidelines before posting
X

Hints on how to write a helpful review

A great review should have the following qualities:

  • A helpful review should connect and engage with the readers using personal experience.
  • An excellent review provides the readers with cogent and unbiased information necessary to help them make the best choice.
  • A review must be well-formatted to make reading easier by using multiple paragraphs and avoiding caps.
  • The primary goal of your review must remain to provide accurate and non-salesy information.
  • Above all, let your review be fair and honest.

We have high level of professional editorial section with zero tolerance policy on fake reviews.

To maintain the genuineness of our brand, we ensure all customer reviews submitted to us are verified and confirmed before publishing. Though we might not be a 100% accurate, however, we try our best to ensure being next to best. For a thorough verification of submitted reviews, we spend close to 7 working days before allowing any customer review to be published since we also work on the earliest submissions first.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

100 characters remaining.

Your Rating:05

Submitting this review means that you agree to our Review Guidelines, confirming that you are a verified customer who has purchased the product and may have used the merchandise or experienced the service, and providing only a real interaction and experience without ulterior motives or has an affiliate or business with the company in any way. By ticking this box and submitting this review, you also accept that submitting fake reviews is a violation of Health Web Magazine Terms of Use and such conduct will not be tolerated.

5000 characters remaining.

Thanks for submitting your comment!

SUBSCRIBE TO HEALTH WEB MAGAZINE

Get the latest in healthy living, nutrition & fitness, mental wellbeing, beauty & skincare, and more, straight to your inbox!

Loading

Your Privacy is important to us

Medical Disclaimer: The content published on our website, Health Web Magazine, is to inform and educate the reader only and not a substitute for professional medical advice from your doctor or other health care provider. If you have a specific health question or concern you must consult with a qualified medical professional and in the case of an emergency, immediately contact your local emergency services. Health Web Magazine and the publisher of this content take NO responsibility for any detrimental health issues or injuries that result from following advice found in articles, reports/overviews, or other content on our website. All visitors to Health Web Magazine, particularly pregnant and nursing women and individuals taking over-the-counter or prescribed medication, must consult with their physician before starting a new supplement or making any changes to their diet or exercise plan.

All trademarks, registered trademarks and service-marks mentioned on this site are the property of their respective owners. © 2021. All Rights Reserved. All opinions expressed on this website are the opinion of and were written by Admark LLC, owners/operators of this website. Disclaimer: The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these websites published terms of use and all site policies.

X

All Health Web Magazine content is thoroughly reviewed and/or fact-checked by a team of health industry experts to ensure accuracy.

In keeping with our strict quality guidelines, we only cite academic research institutions, established health journals, or peer-reviewed studies in our content. You will be able to find links to these sources by clicking the numbers in parentheses (1, 2, etc.) that appear throughout our content.

At no time do we advise any of our readers to use any of our content as a substitute for a one-on-one consultation with a doctor or healthcare professional.

We invite you to contact us regarding any inaccuracies, information that is out of date or any otherwise questionable content that you find on our sites via our feedback form.