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Brilliant Stress Management by Dr. Mike Clayton

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122 brilliant stress management
will usually nd the solution rst; the one who is most exible
in their behaviour will get what they want; and the one who is
most exible in their response to change will feel that they are
in control. Flexibility is about creating choices and is what stops
determination becoming obsession. To be exible, you need to
be able to step back from a challenge, see it objectively, and
then nd a wide range of options. The process to SCOPE a
problem that you read in Chapter 5 will help you to step back,
but sometimes you need more resources. Give yourself time,
refresh yourself with a walk in the open air, consult friends or
colleagues, or pick up some random books or magazines for
stimulus.
Persistence
‘If at rst you don’t succeed, try something else.
We saw this in Chapter 3, but the key here is to keep trying.
Once again, know the boundary between determination and
obsession, but also know that failure is rarely inevitable.
Gratitude
Prayer has been a part of human life and public ritual for as
long as recorded history. Only now are we nding out why it is
so powerful in bringing about change and a sense of wellbeing.
And it need not have anything to do with religion: if you have a
faith, you can believe what you choose about how prayer works,
and if you have none at all, you can reect on what modern
science is learning.
Maximisers and satisficers
The psychology of decision-making divides us neatly into two
groups, the maximisers and the satiscers. Which are you?
If you are a maximiser, you usually want the best
product, solution or deal. You will examine every option
Control your mental response to stress 123
very carefully and will agonise over details. Missing
information can lead you to get stuck and not feel able to
decide.
If you are a satiscer, then you know what you want and
will happily decide on the rst product, solution or deal
that meets your needs. ‘Good enough’ is good enough for
you.
Not surprisingly, maximisers do better in life; they achieve
more and get better stuff. But, and this is important, sat-
iscers are happier. They feel better because they do not
constantly worry that they didn’t get the best; they are
simply grateful for what they got, and move on. Maximisers,
however, spend a lot of time regretting decisions that did
not turn out to be optimal, and wanting ever more than they
already have. This leads to a lot of wasted time and a lot of
self-recrimination.
So, be grateful for what you have and avoid making compari-
sons with what other people have. You didn’t need a bigger TV
when you bought that one, so why do you need it now, just
because Chris and Stevie bought one that’s 15 cm bigger? Too
much choice can stie decision-making, so only consider a small
number of options and don’t expand your range, unless none of
them meets your essential criteria.
Past positive
Some people focus on the here and now, and can lose themselves
in the moment. Others focus on the future and what they can
do tomorrow, so losing the joy of today. But the people who
have the greatest sense of wellbeing are those who look back on
their past with affection. They can see the mistakes and the pain,
but do not dwell on it. They are grateful for everything that has
come into their lives, learning from adversity and cherishing the
pleasures.

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