Are You the Subject or the Direct Object?
In the first group of sentences, someone or something other than you is the subject of the sentence — traffic, the boss, shopping, children, taxes. They are the people or conditions that cause you to experience stress. As the direct object, you don't have a verb of your own. You don't do anything, except be stressed by their unwanted actions. As the direct object of the sentence, you are the baseball that gets hit with the bat, you are the victim of a dog bite, and you are the hapless victim of people or circumstances who cause you to feel stressed-out.
In contrast, the second group of sentences makes you the active doer. In these sentences, you do the action of the verb. The traffic, the boss, the children, and the tax return are no longer the ones that cause you to experience stress. Significantly, the word stress is missing in these sentences.
This syntactical difference between the subject and direct object might seem like trivial grammatical nitpicking, but it's a powerful tool to reveal how you live in the world. This distinction turns you from the object of some stressor into the creator of something that you choose to create. If you think about the syntax of subject-verb-direct object in the sentences you speak and the thoughts you think, you can go a long way to change your life from the stressed-out victim of circumstances to creator of the life you choose.
[Original Post November 23, 2015]