A friend recently sent me a text message with the above question. I started to type out a reply about exercise and meditation, but then I stopped. Instead of answering right away, I wrote, “let me get back to you in a couple days.”
A few days later, I sent my friend the following email:
Earlier this week you asked me about how I manage stress. I was about to write about routine exercise and meditation, but then I realized that the answer is probably different for every person. Further, I wonder if there’s a different way to ask the question, or if there’s a different question altogether that might be worth shifting our attention to.
For me, I don’t spend much time thinking about how to manage stress. Don’t get me wrong, I feel stressed at times just like anyone else. But when I do, I immediately ask myself the question, “what’s out of alignment? What’s not right?” In other words, I spend more energy trying to understand the root cause of stress than trying to manage the stress itself. And if I can get at the cause, I feel I have the best opportunity to reduce or eliminate future instances of stress.
So rather than giving you empty advice that likely won’t serve you, I’m curious to know more about what’s causing your stress and what’s going on in our life at the moment?
Look forward to hearing more!
If stress is a traveling messenger, I don’t aim to give her a comfortable place to lay her head and a good meal. Rather, I’m keen to learn about her origin story and how it is she made here way to my doorstep in the first place.
-Jeremy & Jake