Seven Offspring? No Sweat!

Where does stress really reside?

Last night I met with a friend who was visiting from New York. A Chassidic Jew, she brought along her seventh child, a nine-week old baby girl. There we sat, one mother of four who `opted out’ of an executive career and lives an affluent life caring for her children and household; one mother of seven (all under the age of 13), with limited financial means, living in very tight quarters, who also maintains a small coaching practice; and one hard working business owner, married mother of one (me).

As the evening unfolded it became clear that of the three of us, our Chassidic friend was the calmest, most balanced and productive of us all. If one were to use objective stress measures on the three of us, the indicators would likely suggest that she has the least amount of stress indicators in her system.

What hit home yet again was that the real place that stress resides is in the mind.

My New York friend possesses a deep sense of the Lord’s wondrous workings in her life. When times are tough she turns to God for guidance and comfort. She is on a constant journey of learning, growth and development.

In her stress hardiness, she is very similar to many people I’ve encountered in my Stress Resilience workshops. My qualitative observations consistently suggest that those least stressed tend to fall into one of two major groups. First are people of religious faith – any faith. Second are those who regularly practice yoga or mediation.

I invite you to ponder the following question: What are YOU currently doing to ensure that YOUR stress resilience shield is as solid as it can be?

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