How many of us suffer from stress? I mean the daily sort, the stuff that undermines us wanting to live a happy, modern day life? If you have a job and commitments, then I can guarantee this is for you.
You probably recognise when you get stressed, this is not the hard bit because it is often pointed out by another person that you are shouting or holding a pen in a threatening manner. You may have read books, learnt mantras or even attended a few good practice workshops but what if I were to tell you that you are doing it all wrong? You are not solving the problem! You are just putting a sticky plaster over the real concern covering it up with your breathing exercises and celery stick balancing classes.
All you are trying to do is relieve the stress when what you should be doing is concentrating on the cause of it. Now I could just say that the easiest thing to do it to quit your job and go live in a hut on the edge of the A303 by Stonehenge, living off the land and not showering. But we have responsibilities that stop us from doing this, so the next thing is to challenge the way we view and handle stress.
My own problems with stress, comes from suffering PTSD, when as a police officer in Swindon, I was shot at six times. This made me start to take real notice of stress and look into the causes of stress. It took me on a journey and I went back, a long way back, I mean way, way, way back, all the way back to the Caveman era. The first thing I need to share and get you to fully appreciate is that stress is nothing more than a totally natural, human body reaction. Accept this as a fact and let’s move on.
If you are a ‘Gatherer’ (see the webpage on The CTS) and need some more information think about this reaction check out the ‘fight or flight’ response, the lifesaving reaction which prevented our Caveman ancestors from being squished by a 4 ton, Woolley Mammoth.
Our Caveman reactions are still with us and here’s the shocker… Mammoths are not extinct. (Oh no, I can hear you cry, “crazy man on the loose”… well they are not!) They have had to change their tactics to survive and are now tricky little blighters hiding in plain sight, the most simple of places, waiting to pounce and cause us to push our button.
The modern day world has loads of hiding places that a Mammoth can hide in, such as a badly worded e-mail, a road rage incident or a gym equipment hogger. These new age Mammoths pounce, showing themselves only to their intended victim, for a fraction of a second causing us to want to use our Caveman reactions. If we give into our natural reactions, we would either be fired or arrested.
There are two massive areas that cause stress in our lives, the first is how we interact with each other and there is the CTS, (Caveman Tribal Sorter) that helps people understand and interact with others better, reducing stress. The other area is Change: we all want to make changes in our lives and then beat ourselves up when we fail. Well The Caveman Changes principles can now help direct the Caveman Herder to get his pet Mammoth to the new destination.
Getting back to The Caveman Principles top tip, it is to find our Mammoths hiding places, identify where it likes to lurk, prepare for the attack, avoid it if we can or bracing ourselves if there is no choice. Improve our interactions with others and create successful change in our lives. You will have heard from any coach, that a good defence wins games, well in this happiness game, let’s play to win and route out all their hiding places.