Hans Selye distinguished good stress (eustress) from bad stress (distress).
Sometimes it’s not easy to tell the difference.
You may dream of a stress-free life, but such a life could be boring . . . or empty.
Being a parent has been one of the biggest adventures of my life but it has never been stress-free. Parents are charged with a tremendous responsibility – the physical and emotional well-being of a baby, a toddler, a growing child and eventually a maturing adolescent.
There are special challenges and rewards with each child and at every stage of their growth. And as a child grows, so do we.
We also become a stress – mostly positive but at times negative – in the lives of our children. We set boundaries for behaviour, and we set standards and goals. Without these, they may not internalize appropriate values and achieve their positive potential.
Our words – and how we deliver them – can be a source of stress. Our children need our feedback at every stage. That feedback can help them to continuously improve and grow.
Too often, poorly chosen words can cause distress. Unhelpful criticism – that which does not improve our performance and that which attacks rather than assists – arises through thoughtlessness or our own darker motivations.
We can get into a pattern of reflexively blurting out hurtful and harmful remarks that harms both our relationship and the children we have been charged to nurture.
We are all interconnected – dependent on one another in great and small ways. We can harm or help others in our actions and in our words – what we do and what we fail to do, what we say and how we say it.
In the workplace, at school, in the field and at home, what type of stress do you cause others? What is your effect – positive and negative – on your partner, children, employees, coworkers and others you influence in your daily life?
Being more mindful of this, what would you do differently?