What is it costing me? 

by Kevin Stacey

© 2002  TrainRight, Inc.
http://www.Time-StressManagement-Training.com

As a society, we seem to be "easily bothered." Many of us are "chronically bothered" by things that are simply counter-productive for us to be focusing on. Asking yourself "what is it costing me?" is a powerful question because it gives you the wisdom to understand, on a deep level, that "it’s just not worth it."

Most people who haven’t yet come to the conclusion that "it’s just
not worth it" simply haven’t done a cost/benefit analysis of the way they’re feeling towards a particular situation. You have the right to feel any way you want to feel, but a better question is: "Is this how I’d like to feel? Or, "Is this working for me?" If you actually write out a 2 column list with one heading being the advantages of being upset and bothered by person or situation X, and the other heading being the disadvantages or the costs of being upset or bothered by situation X, it will be eye-opening for you. You’ll then be motivated to not only stop expending your limited energy on the situation, but to take responsibility for it. For the four choices to take responsibility for the things that bother you, click here for the February newsletter: http://www.trainrightinc.com/February2002.htm

The above link gives you the how, but before you get to the how, many need the why. So, what could it be costing you?

For starters, there is a medically proven mind, body, spirit connection, and every thought that we have has a physical reaction in our body. Health researchers say that simply recalling one 5-minute episode of anger suppresses our immune system for up to seven hours. That’s pretty interesting considering how many times the average person gets upset in a typical day. If you have something that’s bothering you that’s not resolved, your body is essentially reliving that experience every time you think about it. Your body doesn’t know the difference if it’s actually happening now in this moment or if it happened 10 years ago. There are several emotions that contribute to producing disease in human beings. Anger, frustration, rage, hatred, fear, anxiety, being chronically, bothered, etc. Needless to say, it’s not good for us physically.

When we start to view our problems this way it lowers our tolerance for them and causes us to refuse to immerse ourselves in harmful reactions. It makes us say to ourselves, "I’m just not going to participate in this any more, because when I do, it only harms me."

Other ways to think about this:

  • "What does it cost me when I let this get to me?"
  • "What does it cost me when I take work home with me?"
  • "What does it cost me when I don’t sleep as much as I need to?"
  • "What does it cost me when I am physically with my loved ones,
      but mentally I’m somewhere else, at work perhaps?"
  • "What is this costing me physically, emotionally, spiritually, intellectually?"
  • "What is this costing my relationships?"

This is a subtle shift, but an important one. We need to be reminded over and over again that it’s always a choice, and for many of the situations that chronically bother us there are no victims, only volunteers.

Just about everybody at some time in his or her life comes to the conclusion that "it’s just not worth it." Unfortunately, some people come to this conclusion too late, or not as soon as they would of liked to. I hope that you’re able to use this perspective shift to speed up the process and not have to wait for a "sudden wake up call" to enter to your life.

About the Author

Kevin Stacey helps companies and professionals achieve maximum productivity and effectiveness through stress management and time management training.  He is available to speak on these topics.  For more information visit http://www.TrainRightInc.com or call 1-800-603-7168.

© 2002 Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site so long as the paragraph above is included and contact information is provided to reprint@TrainRightInc.com   Thank you.