Stress Perspectives

How to Change Your Perspective on Stress and Stressors

by Kalinda Rose Stevenson

Why New Perspectives Expand Your Thinking

The significant problems we face
cannot be solved at the same level of thinking
we were at when we created them.

Albert Einstein
If you feel overwhelmed by stress, change your perspective on stress and stressors in your life. Different perspectives open up new levels of thinking. (The following excerpt is from Stress Relief That Works.)
Stress Perspectives

Stress and Perspective

If you feel overwhelmed by stress, it's time to change your perspective. Perspective is your point of view, your angle of vision, your frame of reference.

Albert Einstein said that you can't solve problems at the same level of thinking you were when you created them. No one can see the whole of anything from one vantage point. As long as you look at stress and stressors in your life from the same perspective, you'll find it difficult to change them. A different perspective will always open up some new level of thinking.

You can change your perspective when you choose to be observant. Observant is an adjective to describe one who is watching. The observer is not the doer. You are observant when you look dispassionately at your circumstances without getting involved. People who describe their near-death experiences frequently talk about detachment from their bodies as they look down on themselves lying in a hospital bed. Whatever the validity of such claims, you can gain a different perspective on a stressful experience by emotionally detaching yourself and observing your reactions to a stressor.

Consider the perspective of a hawk. It flies high overhead, looking for prey. A small animal on the ground has little chance of escaping the keen eyesight of the hawk. With the benefit of its high perspective, the hawk can swoop down upon the helpless prey. What would you see about stress in your life if you could look at your life with a hawk-like perspective?

Benefits of Perspective

Looking at a stressor from a different perspective allows you see beyond the moment. Without perspective, a current problem can become the defining problem of your existence. Molehills become mountains. Trivial details become huge obstacles. Small errors become enormous blunders.

Changing Your Point of View

Think of the photographs people take when they play with perspective. You might see a picture of someone holding up a finger and thumb with the Eiffel Tower within it. The picture distorts reality. You know it's a distortion when the Eiffel Tower can fit between a finger and a thumb. However, you might not recognize distortions in other perceptions. Since what you see can be accurate or it can distort reality, it's important to verify what you think you're seeing by changing your point of view rather than standing in the same spot and insisting that what you see is the whole truth.

If you're feeling stuck in some situation and you keep reviewing your circumstances in the same way, you'll be unable to see beyond your current vision. A change in perspective can also change your reaction to a stressor. As long as you keep looking from the same spot, you won't see anything differently. If you can't see anything other than outside forces that make your life miserable, change the angle. Get closer. Move away from it. Look from above. Look from below. When you're willing to change your perspective, you can see new possibilities. 

[Original Post October 29, 2015]

If you are feeling stressed-out and want to read the whole book, Stress Relief That Works: How To Think Your Way from Stressed-Out to Peaceful is available on Amazon in either Kindle or paperback versions. Click Buy Now From Amazon to get your copy right away!

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