All Behavior is Purposeful including Stress

Today I taught a class to people studying to be caregivers for the elderly. We talked about stress management and discussed how all behavior is purposeful.

Whatever behavior a person engages in is their best attempt to get something he or she wants, even our emotions. We choose our behaviors based on what we believe to be our best chance to get what we want. This is not always a conscious choice, but it is a choice nonetheless. This is not to blame the victim but rather to empower the victim by helping them understand they choose their behavior and so consequently can choose to do things differently if they want to.

Looking at stress as a behavior, what does a person hope to gain by stressing? What is it they want that they're trying to get by using stress?

Some people, namely procrastinators, use stress to help them focus. Without the stress of tight deadlines, they tend to not be productive. Stress helps them work hard at completing tasks.

Sometimes people use stress to send a strong signal that you better not ask me one more thing or I just might lose it! Stress can help people get relief from demands so they can catch up.

Stress can get people help. By letting otherz know you are stressed, they may offer to take some of your load. It can be a means of getting help without actually asking for it.

If stress is a need-satisfying behavior, then the person using it is unlikely to stop without understanding it is a choice. Even when a person realizes stressing is a choice, he or she may not want to give it up unless there is an alternative behavior that can be equally satisfying.

Choosing stress is all right. Stress can be helpful and useful. However, prolonged stress has many physical ailments associated with it. So in order to maintain health, it is important to reduce the behavior of stress in one's life.

If you want to learn more about stress and choosing alternatives, then call me at 708-95706047 or email




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