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Being Stressed out is a choice!

Let's talk about expectations for/from people and that as a cause of stress.

We all play different roles in the society…that of a friend, parent, son/daughter, husband/wife, brother/sister, etc, etc. Every day we strive to live up to the role expectations; expectations set down by others and those by ourselves. This takes a toll on us as they become demanding, challenging, constantly evolving, unprecedented, AND a cause of stress!

The solution to this lies in the problem itself!

When something or someone makes us anxious, we do three things- we think, we feel and we act! Maybe not in the same order but we ALWAYS do these three. The thing is, we human beings don't always think, feel or act in a functional way. We might overreact, catastrophize or overthink, without seeing things in their true perspective and correctly comprehending them leading to stressful scenarios.

So the solution is learning to be better with our choices: Choices of thought, of feelings, and of actions! This happens through ‘realistic preferences’.

Realistic preferences would require us to unlearn many of our patterns of thinking negatively or over rationalizing and for unlearning, it is necessary to be continuously committed and be in a state of awareness for (a) taking responsibility for feelings, behaviors, and thoughts (b) learning to change (c) taking the time and effort to practice the new approaches.

In the book ‘How to keep people from pushing your buttons’ by Albert Ellis, Ph.D.,

the author states a few questions one might ask oneself when spiraling down a stressful interpersonal relationship.

  • How am I dysfunctionally feeling and acting in this situation?

  • What am I thinking to myself to make myself upset?

  • How can I challenge and dispute my irrational thinking?


  • What realistic preferences of thoughts, actions, and behaviors can I follow?

The key to managing any stressful situation is the perspective from which we look at it. If we can identify and unlearn our old patterns by practicing new and harmonious feelings, thoughts and actions, we all can lead a fulfilled life!

I am a Psychotherapist, Cognitive behavioural hypnotherapist, and NLP master coach.

To find out more about me and set up a consultation, visit my website:

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