Thiel: Put your stress in perspective

I guarantee you, if you try this, you will be laughing at yourself by the end of the game.

It has been well established in the medical literature and scientific research that the number one silent killer, and strongest cause of the majority of diseases and premature death, is stress.

As a result, we know the direct effects of stress on virtually all of our organs through the study of neuroimunobiology.

This is an area of study that concerns itself with the way that our mental state affects our physiology and well-being.

But let’s face the simple fact that if you’re alive, you will have stress.

The eradication of stress is a fruitless endeavor as stress is all around us. We cannot avoid it and in fact, there are healthy forms of stress.

Moreover, I believe it is more about the way that we handle our perceived stress. The operative word is perceived.

A wise man once said to me there is no such thing as reality; there is just the way that we perceive it. In other words, the way that we choose to process the stress is the key.

Perception is a very individual thing and, at times it can be incorrect or disproportionate.

There is a game that I taught my nine-year-old daughter, Brooke.

It’s a simple game but it teaches us to laugh at ourselves when we become overwhelmed with the simplest of stressors. It’s called the “What will happen next?” game.

The goal of this game is to take a simple stress and exaggerate it to its most infinite degree creating the worst possible outcome, blowing it entirely out of proportion until it seems unbelievable.

Let me explain. My daughter was doing her homework and could not find a pen.

She seems unduly upset about it, for what would seem to be a simple problem to solve.

I said to her, “Oh my God, you can’t find a pen? Our lives will be ruined. Whatever will become of us? What have we done?

“OK, Brooke. Game on…go”.

She rolled her eyes, sighed and went into our office and wrote this.

Can’t find a pen. Can’t do my homework. Won’t pass the test. I will fail the class. Poor report card.

Won’t be able to get a job or go to college because I don’t have a diploma. I will have to live with my parents the rest of my life.

I won’t have any employment. I won’t have any income. I won’t be able to afford food. I won’t have anywhere to live. I will be destitute. Probably die.

As I read the last sentence, she laughed out loud and saw how silly it was to be so concerned about a problem so small, one that is so easily solved.

It seemed to have put it back into its proper perspective.

When one truly thinks about it, we do have problems. Some of them are serious and need the attention they truly deserve, but the majority of them are simple first world problems.

I know, it’s a silly game, but it’s also silly to get so upset over simple things like traffic, being five minutes late, mismatched socks and laundry. I guarantee you, if you try this, you will be laughing at yourself by the end of the game.

Kelowna Capital News

Pop-up banner image ×