Transform Stress: tell your own story of growth and resilience

Kelly Mcgonugal, PHD., invites us to transform stress by telling our own stories and sharing our own testimonials of growth and resilience.

Here are some notes I jot down from my reading of her book that I ‘m eager to share with you.

One of the best ways to notice, value, and express your own growth is to reflect on a difficult time in your life as if You were a journalist writing a restorative story narrative. 

How would a storyteller describe the challenges you have faced? 

What Would a good observer see as a turning point in your story- a moment when you were able to reengage or find meaning?

 If a journalist were to follow you for a week, what evidence would the journalist see of your strength and resilience?

 What do you do that demonstrates your growth or expresses your values? 

What would your friends, family, co-workers or others who have witnessed your journey say to describe how you have changed or grown?

 What objects in your home or your office would a photojournalist want to photograph as evidence of your growth or resilience?

Consider taking some time to write your own story about an experience that you view as stressful and a source of growth and meaning. Or use any medium that appeals to you, such as photo collage, drawings, or video.

 This exercise can be very personal or private, and you never need to share it with any one. But, it can also be a wonderful exercise to share with others.

What brings meaning to your life?

Take a few moment to list your most meaningful roles, relationships, activities, or goals.

 In what parts of your life are you most likely to experience joy, love, laughter, learning, or a sense of purpose? 

When you have listed a few, ask yourself this: would you also describe any of them as sometimes or frequently stressful?

We often imagine how ideal it would be to get rid of the stress we experience at home, at work in pursuit of our goals. But, that isn’t a realistic possibility. 

We don’t get to choose between a stress-full or a stress-free life.

 If there is something in your life that is both meaningful and causing a great deal of stress, take a few moments to write abut this role, relationship, activity, or goal.

If it is so important to you,  you might also consider writing about what life be like if you suddenly lost this source of meaning. 

How would you feel about the loss? 

Would you want it back in your life?

Here is your examen. An examined life is worth living.

Be well,

Roosevelt

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