The other day I was a little out of sorts as I felt everyone around me was making mountains out of their own personal molehills ('white whine', anyone?). Plagued by annoyance, I decided to step back a bit and think about why I was reacting. I revisited the various sources of stress that had been in my life since childhood. Despite an otherwise happy life, the effects of some have only partially subsided.
Still, I felt that I needed to get off my high horse. I can roll my eyes about people's whining, but I should not judge how 'well' others deal with stress. Unfortunately, learning how to live with stress can only come from experience, and that is really not something I would want to go around wishing on people. It is impossible to project how others 'should' deal with stress, since all stress a person's life is relative to what they alone have experienced. All anyone can expect another human being to do is to react accordingly.
So, as 'good' as I have become in dealing with stress, it does not mean that I am prepared for anything. In fact, not even close. I have encountered high levels of stress, and know that I will probably continue to do so. But in order to correct my lack of understanding of others' stress I had to take myself out of the equation and focus on seeing stress (in its myriad forms) as a truly global human problem.
What do you think? Would thinking less about your own emotions and more about the overall picture help you? What suggestions do you have?
May all beings be happy!