In managing stress, what approach do you tend to use, “hardball,” “eggshell” or “tennis ball?”
Hardball individuals hold all their stress inward, similar to a pressure cooker. They don’t know how to say, “No” and they are always volunteering for new projects and working overtime. They seem to enjoy anxiety and chaos. Unfortunately, they are usually candidates for high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke or ulcers. They are too busy for stress management and seldom consider its benefits.
Eggshell individuals are always complaining about something. They are very fragile and have a zero tolerance for stress. When you say, “Have a good day,” they say, “What’s so good about it?” They have heard of stress management, but believe it only works for other people.
Tennis ball individual’s approach is by far the best. They seem to be able to rebound from any stressful event no matter the magnitude or frequency. They seem to be in control of their world while enjoying a balanced life. They have mastered several stress management techniques and practice them daily.
So what makes these three approaches to stress management different? Let’s first look at what stress is: “Stress is how we perceive and react to daily change and events” The people who use the “tennis ball” approach have learned to accentuate the positive in their life by looking at change as a challenge instead of a crisis. They look at daily events as opportunities instead of interruptions to their day. They don’t deny reality. They recognize life as both good and bad. They choose positive attitude over defeated attitude, strength over weakness, and dedication over compromise.” The key word is attitude. William James sums it up well: “Change your attitude-change your life.” Tennis anyone?