Stressful thoughts signal the release of cortisol in our bodies. If unchecked, the impact on our emotional "tanks" can be pretty serious. How can we learn to reframe those thoughts that induce stress into healthier thought patterns that curb or lessen the release of cortisol?
Here’s an example: A student in my online Spanish university-level class emails me complaining about the class, an “unfair” grade, the rigorous nature of the class, due dates, excuses for not completing the work, the online language laboratory we use, or his or her experience with technical support on a given issue. Often the issues are resolved quickly and easily. However, sometimes students are disrespectful; they do not use proper “netiquette” within the email; they appear ill-mannered and react in impulsive ways. They blame me for their frustrations as I am, after all, the frontline target.
I’ve noticed that I log into my college email accounts with dread and anxiety. My breathing becomes shallower and my shoulders tense up. I’m like, “Okay.” Sigh. “What will I find here today?” I’m gearing up for obstacles and resistance. My adrenalin levels increase. I try to encourage myself that I’m putting out fires, but still I’m not exactly enjoying the experience.
Too often, there is a cost in emotional energy, and I need my emotional energy tank to be full, not depleted as a result of answering emails! After prayer and greater consideration, I isolated 5 tips to help me foster new coping mechanisms when dealing with complaints and negativity.
5 STEPS TO HANDLING COMPLAINTS & NEGATIVITY WITH GRACE
A few weekends ago, I discovered something. Something big.
My to-do list was a mile long, and every thing I tried to cross off wouldn't budge. And if you're like I am, when you hit resistance, you push back a little harder, kick it into high gear, and with grit and gumption you clinch your jam determine to figure it out even if it takes you an inordinate amount of time and energy. You're gonna make it work at all costs.
Example: I could NOT and can NOT for the life of me uncover why a pop up form I created on Mailchimp (I have the free account which does not offer email or chat support, zilch!) is malfunctioning. You know what a pop up is - it's a small box that pops up on your screen when you first visit a website. Often, there's a freebie or something of value to you that is available in exchange for your email address.
Needless to say, I spent about 3 hours trying to figure this out--I went to goggle, youtube--and nada. I read on Mailchimp's site, rewrote the form, disconnected and reconnected my website using code, over and again--and no dice. Finally, I bailed.
Defeat and feelings of overwhelm crowded in on my mind and heart. Okay, fine. Next on the list? It gets worse.
Do you have lots of TO-DO THOUGHTS rumbling away in your brain?
If so, it might just be that time to DECLUTTER YOUR MIND through an exercise that takes all of 5 minutes!
Grab a huge blank piece of paper and make columns or use your notebook/journal, and write these TITLES at the top of 3 pages:
Set your timer for 5 mins. and then write away!
But wait! What happens afterward?
Looking for clarity of mind? Need help rolling over a sticky or troubling situation? Feeling stuck? I'd love to help! Check out this offer!
A belief is made up of THOUGHTS.
When you think a thought repeatedly, your brain chemically stores that thought in your long-term memory. Most of our thoughts (some scientists say about 80% of them) are negative. Negative thoughts lay the foundation for negative beliefs. Repeating negative thoughts provide the scaffolding for erecting stronger, more resilient negative beliefs.
And before we know it, we've built a negative habit of mind.
Okay. So what?
Have you ever felt stuck? Frustrated? At wit's end?
Yeah, me, too.
This weekend, I got "stuck" in a bit of striving--I forgot to ask God what He thought, where He wanted me to spend my time and energy--and my otherwise aimless wandering left me spinning my wheels and feeling a bit frustrated and overwhelmed. I couldn't believe how much time I invested trying to figure out how to complete 2 ministry tasks--and with no success! GRRR....
I think God gently reminded me that the idea was for me to FOLLOW. From small decisions and initiatives to the really big ones, He has my back. Even in the daily tasks and mundane chores, He has a plan for me and my time.
I discovered something so profound in my angst....
All content © Victoria D. Walker, 2013-2020.
All rights reserved. Copyright ©VictoriaD.Walker, 2013-present. Material from startwithagratefulheartr.weebly.com may not be copied, reproduced, or distributed in any way without consent. Scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, taken from the New American Standard Bible, Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Use by permission. (www.Lockman.org). Bragging rights for stock photos go to UnSplash, Pexels, Pixabay, and Canva. The information contained on this website is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.