Irrational thoughts impede effective coping

Be realistic about the stress in your life. Are you ruled by irrational thoughts, such as, “I must be perfect and succeed in everything I do,” or, “I am a worthless person”? A more realistic thought would be, “If I fail, I will examine what I did wrong and take steps to correct my mistake so I will be less likely to fail the next time.”

Think about it. Is it really so hard to put things in a realistic perspective by balancing those events beyond your control with those you can control? If you’re stressed about driving to a meeting across town, how difficult can it be to say, “I have no control over how bad the traffic will be, but I can leave early so heavy traffic will not make me late. I can also map out alternative routes in advance in case traffic backs up.”

When you are stressed and feeling overwhelmed, you have to guard against feeling sorry for yourself and asking others to join in your pity parade. There are always alternative proactive actions you can take. Instead of being dominated by irrational, self-serving thoughts, find those realistic actions that will serve you well.


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