“Do You Stay Stuck In Your Stress?” by Suzanne Rivard

stress-freeSome of you may not know, but my background is strongly rooted in computers. Coming out of high school I obtain a Computer Science degree and was a computer programmer for over 15 years.

As a trained computer programmer I tend to think logically, and analyze a lot. I’m a problem solver and implement solutions. Being able to analyze things from multiple viewpoints is a tremendous asset in this context. It has served me well, and will continue to do so.

However, having conditioned myself to be great at analyzing also has its drawbacks. It has cascaded into other aspects of my life. I tend to over analyze many things. When I have something that I’m stressing about, it tends to run in my mind over and over. I look at all the different angles, yet without a solution. It’s a like movie that never ends. LOL

This is also true when I have so many things I feel I need to do. I can get overwhelmed and stressed without actually getting things done. I just keep thinking about everything I need to get done.


I get stuck in the negative energy of the stress and have a hard time shaking it.


Last week when I was listening to a recording from my Higher Power class, Ali Brown talked about a technique that she uses to manage her stress. I have heard various takes on her technique but she added a new approach to it, which I love. It’s about scheduling a set time to address what’s going on, not constantly focusing on it, and being stressed out all the time — an appointment with yourself.

Let’s say for sake of an example that you’re in a bit of a financial pinch. You spend days stressing about it. Looking at your bills, your debt and staying stuck in the stress of it all. The technique I’m about to explain will not get you out of debt, but will help manage your stress over it.

Constantly thinking about your bills and debt does not get you out of debt, but it does keep you stuck in that negative energy ­— the stress. The stress seeps out into other aspects of your life. It can impact how you feel physically, your sleep, your relationships, …


The following technique will help you manage the stress:

  1. Schedule a weekly appointment with yourself where you will sit down uninterrupted. You will use this time to be extremely focused on the task at hand. Addressing all the concerns you’ve had about money over the week and what you need to get done. This is the “new” piece I hadn’t thought of, which is awesome!
  2. When a money task or concern comes up during the week, make a note of it by writing it down in one place, and then put it out of you mind. Then let go of it for now because you know you will be addressing it at your scheduled appointment. This will help you compartmentalizes your stress so that you are not stuck in that energy. The letting go may be difficult at first, but keep at it! It does get easier.
  3. At your scheduled appointment time, sit down and look at everything going on and what you wrote down. Look at where you’re at, what do you need to, what you can address right now, make a plan for the rest and get help if you need it. This is the time when you address what you can in the moment (i.e. schedule or make your electronic payments) and then work on a plan for the rest. Your plan could simply be waiting for your next appointment and/or doing some research during the week to develop new strategies to help with what’s happening.
  4. Once your appointment time is over let go of the stress, and move on with your day. You’ve done what you can in the moment.
  5. Repeat this on an ongoing weekly basis. This can be part of your self-care to manage your stress.


By giving yourself a scheduled time that you will address your responsibilities and concerns, you can let it go when they come up and not continuously focus on them.


This may seem over simplified, but it does help manage the stress. You still need to do your due diligence to address your responsibilities and concerns but you can do it all at once during the week and not stay stuck in the stress. The technique can be applied to many things that are impacting you, such as, all the things you need to do, dreams and goals, your health, etc.

If you are a skeptic, give it a try. Give yourself a month of using this technique and see how you feel. Using this technique, I was better able to manage my stress within a week, and it just keeps getting better.


So what in your life can you use this technique on?



© 2014 Suzanne Rivard

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