How Do You Choose To Handle Stress?


Stress is a word that can describe many different things, but we all have it and we have to find a way to handle it. Stress can have different triggers, and it can begin with physical, mental, or spiritual discomfort. More likely it will have its roots in a combination of all three.

My question is this: Does your stress come from within or without? There can, of course, be definite outside stressing agents, but the way we deal with them is all ours. It will help to acknowledge this on some level in order to be more comfortable in our own skin.

Some of us are blessed with the gift of being able to tune-out a great deal of outside stressors that would literally drive others ‘bananas’. Not to pick on bananas, except for the fact that while I was searching for a relatively innocuous term, the universe gifted me with this one. When one thinks about it in a creative sense, a banana comes with a near to perfect, protective, thick skin. Once that skin is peeled back, the banana then becomes vulnerable and is usually eaten or processed into an edible mixture of some kind. Oh-oh, don’t let this happen to you.

How do we become safe in a nice, protective, thick skin? We have to work at it and discover our unique triggers, our unique sensitivities, and our unique solutions. Each one of us is a complex being capable of achieving just about anything we put our mind to.

There are basically two approaches that are often combined and used to assist people working through issues like stress. One method is to trace back individual patterns of actions and reactions, and the other is to work with the here and now and develop new patterns of action and reactions.

As our daily lives become more complex, there are days when it is going to feel like it is just ‘always something’. We are ever changing beings and if we aren’t the ones doing the changing, then there will always be something or someone changing around us.

An ancient book, Ye Ching, which translated means, the book of change, was a much used divining tool in ancient times. There are many modern versions of it being sold and used today. However, instead of tossing coins, pieces of wood, or straw, I invite you to join me in co-creating, redesigning, or refreshing your very own unique toolbox or first aid kit with your own personalized approaches to dealing with stressors in your life.

Toni Johnstone is a registered art therapist, ATR, author, and a practicing fine artist. Visit the online directory listing for more information, or contact her at Refer to this article or her classified ad for your first appointment discount.


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