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Coping Skills: The Secret Weapon for Stress Management!

Do you have a tool box or a tool drawer in your home? I’ll bet money you have one or the other! Just as we have tools around to take care of the ‘physical’ problems in our life, we also need to have tools around to take care of the ‘emotional’ problems in our life – like STRESS.

Now, I have another question for you. Have you ever taken a knife and tried to use it as a screwdriver? Be honest!  (Usually when I ask this question in my workshops, EVERYONE in the room raises their hands!) How did it work? Not too well, right? At some point, we have to come back with a real screwdriver and fix it again!

Now, just in case you are one of those people who thinks the ‘knife’ worked just fine, this question is for you: I have two chairs I put together – on one I used a knife and the other one I used a screwdriver. Which chair do you want to sit in?! I thought so….. the screwdriver chair!

What about DUCT TAPE? I remember one time being on a trip in college where duct tape saved the day. We were traveling from Manhattan, Kansas (Kansas State University) to Kansas City for a concert. The radiator hose sprung a leak. Thank goodness we had some duct tape in the trunk . . .  We were able to get where we were going and back home again because of a duct tape ‘fix’.

Both kitchen knives and duct tape are good for temporary fixes, wouldn’t you agree?!  Let’s face it, though –           having the “right tool” for a job can make all the difference between success and failure. I don’t know about you…. I prefer to to have SUCCESS!

I believe the same kind of situation can happen when we are faced with STRESS. We just grab at something quickly to help us deal with a situation. I call these Survival Tools. These are all the things we may have used to help us get through the tough times in life. To help us SURVIVE …. And in many instances, they do help us. The problem is that many of these SURVIVAL TOOLS  go on to create MORE STRESS for us!

The secret to stress management is having and using coping skills. I call these LIFETOOLS. And, unless you were lucky to have learned them growing up, there’s a good chance you are struggling through life’s stressors using old survival tools. I’ve spent the past 20 years teaching this to thousands of people, and I encourage you to follow along as I share many of the secret weapons on this blog that I’ve learned along the way.  If you can’t wait, you’ll find 57 LifeTools waiting for you in my book: LifeTools: How to Manage Life Instead of Life Managing You!  Available at Amazon.com and other bookstores.


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