Today was one of those travel days that we dred…nothing was on time, or went smoothly, or went the way it was planned. I sat in traffic for three hours trying to get to the airport. Thankfully my plane was delayed….how many times do you hear people say that? I was grateful, it meant I was able to make my original flight. When I got to my destination, they had no rental cars. The rest of the trip went quickly and I am in my hotel room safe and warm. So in the end after all the turmoil, stress and strife, I arrived and my week will continue as planned. 

Sometimes it is our lack of control that is more frustrating than the actual situation. When you are stuck in traffic, you know there is nothing you can do. You can scream and yell at the other stupid drivers, but that won’t change anything. You can try to find another route, but sometimes no matter how you twist and turn there is no way of avoiding congestion. You can get frustrated with the airport security and boarding procedures, but in the end you have to follow them to get to your gate. You plan and prepare and follow your selected course only to end up at the mercy of a system that doesn’t always work. 

My pondering point as I am warm and ready for bed, did all my stress and strife make today go any differently? Not really. It didn’t really matter how I reacted, the mess is what it is…and nothing I said or did made one bit of difference. In my own self help chronicles I made a mental note to let it all go. My stress made no difference to anyone but myself, so why stress out? It is a natural reaction, yet a controllable reaction. So next time I am going to focus on soemthing else and let the situation pass. 

How do you handle stress? How do you handle things when you are not in control? Do those around you suffer or are you the one suffering? We all have stress in our lives – good and bad. The goal is not getting rid of stress, it will never all go away. The goal is to control how you react to the stress. You can only control two things – your attitude and your actions. So next time life gets things wrong try thinking before you react….think about whether or not your stress will make things better or worse, and for whom will they make things better? Probably not you, so let it go.