In this multipart series, Andrew Bernstein, author of The Myth of Stress, presents to CrossFit athletes and coaches his process of dealing with stress.
In Part 5, Bernstein concludes his breakdown of stress over traffic jams. Using the worksheet, the participants discover that the truth of the situation is in reality, at this time, the traffic should be there.
“The reality is we’ve got things out there we want to change, but when we experience them as problems and we get emotionally charged, we try to change that from anger or frustration, and it’s not a very efficient way to move,” Bernstein says. According to him, the worksheets help bring realization.
“Now instead of a problem, we can say there’s a situation. There is still something there, but it doesn’t have the negative emotional charge,” he says.
In Part 6, Bernstein describes when the worksheet is the most helpful.
“The time when you would want to do this on paper is when something lingers,” he says.
According to Bernstein, stress triggers tend to cluster.
“Start with the most charged one,” he says.
He also advises to start with those involving others before tackling those that more directly involve you. According to the expert, the root of most of our stress is the concept of “should.”
“The combination of your brain, your culture and your language sets you up to experience a lot of stress,” Bernstein says. But “it’s not inevitable. Because if you challenge the way that you think about things, you won’t experience stress.”
Additional reading: The Positive Impact of Physical Fitness on Emotional Fitness by Dr. Brooke R. Envick and Rick Martinez, published May 25, 2010.