Manage your stressors
- Practice planful problem-solving.
When a lot of effort cannot produce a satisfying amount of progress, we can change the type of effort we’re investing in. For example, the frustration of being stuck in traffic can be minimized with a GPS giving you an alternative route to go around the traffic.
- Practice positive reappraisal.
Recognize that the discomfort, the frustration, the obstacles, and the repeated failure have value and are worthwhile.
- Redefine winning.
To cope with the frustration of trying to do something where you will inevitably fail before you achieve your goal, start by redefining what it means to ‘win’ at this goal. For example, if your goal is to lose fat and you do not see any difference, you can shift your win from ‘seeing a difference in your body’ to ‘feeling good.’
- Redefine failing.
Recognize the unintended positive outcomes. Post-it notes, for example, were invented when a chemist tried and failed to make a strong glue. It turned out his very weak glue had a very popular use.
- Give up at the right time.
Make a list of benefits and costs of continuing and giving up on certain goals. Then, look at those four lists and decide based on your maximum benefit and minimum cost estimates.
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