While few of us enjoy feeling stressed, you might have told yourself that it's not big deal, you can handle it. Or maybe you've convinced yourself that although it'smaking you unhappy, there's no real consequence to stress other than a little personal discomfort. You can handle it. Maybe you even think that people who care about stress are too weak, soft, or self-centered.
Of course, scientists have known for decades now that being under significant stress negatively impacts us in so many ways. Some brand-new research digs even more deeply into this. It turns out feeling stressed negatively impacts our decision making process. If we make important life decisions while under stress, chances are we'll choose wrongly. And wrong choices on major's life decisions can completely alter the course of our life. At some level, we already know this. Think of the extreme example of violent road rage. We've all heard stories of someone who gets cut off by another driver and just snaps. They pull out a gun and start shooting or ram the other car. Maybe they hurt or kill someone. And get arrested. In just a blink of an eye, the entire trajectory of their lives has changed…permanently.
That's an extreme example, of course. But it shows the kinds of impact that stress can have us. How we don't make clear decisions. We're too filled with negative thoughts and emotions to see the situation clearly. In particular, scientists have discovered that stress messes up our ability to adequately weigh risks and rewards. We might pay more attention to a big payoff that's not likely to happen and forget about the downside risks of our action. We lose the ability to see reality clearly and understand the ramifications of our decisions.
Learning how to control-- or better, eliminate--stress isn't just about feeling good. It's about taking control of our lives and changing their entire direction for the better. The more we learn how to manage our stress, the better our life gets, on both the inside and outside. So, if you're feeling stressed or you notice that your life isn't going the way you want, don't wait until your bad decisions have put you in a hole you can't get out of. Your top priority and one of the most practical things you can do is to learn stress-reduction techniques. Right now.