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© 2013 Kebba Buckley Button.  World Rights Reserved.

Paraglider over RioPhoto by iStockPhoto

Paraglider over Rio
Photo by iStockPhoto

Many people think of stress as something of a climatic condition, a sort of heat. Picture a large thermometer labeled “How hot will you get today?”  Let’s call that The Stress-O-Meter (sm). In this model, people talk about “heating up” as they get stressed and “cooling off” as they unstress. They may say, “Boy, he really got hot under the collar at that meeting!” or “Yow, that’s a hot topic!” or “What a heated discussion we had at that board meeting!” People may tell a stressed-out person to “cool off” or “chill out” or even “calm down” meaning “come down in your stress/heat level.”

People ride up and down their personal Stress-O-Meter, the thermometer of stress, during their day. They heat up, then they cool off or chill out.   What happens when someone gets so stressed out that they hit the top of their Stress-O-Meter? They “explode” or “go over the top,” just as a thermometer explodes when overheated.

While this way of seeing stress is very popular, it doesn’t serve us.  In the Stress-O-Meter model, we have no real control of our stress.  How much more powerful is it to see stress as a matter of perception and focus, as we’ve been discussing, with each of us as the manager of our personal energy budget each day?

“Now you can become an energy manager!”

–Kebba Buckley Button

Now, you can become an energy manager!  Right now, try stretching your ideas about how to use your week. Imagine that your energy is measurable in Energy Dollars, instead of in hours and minutes. Imagine that, for each day of the week, you have a budget of 1440 Energy Dollars. That’s one Energy Dollar for every minute of the day. Now imagine that it’s up to you to invest your Energy Dollars wisely. You lose Energy Dollars when you invest them in people and activities that exhaust you. You multiply your Energy Dollars when you sleep really well or invest in people and activities that energize you.

We have talked about the power of positive stress vs. negative stress (https://kebbabutton.wordpress.com/2013/01/08/upbeat-living-the-upbeat-living-energy-equationsm/ ). Review it again now, and journal a few examples of ways you became tired or energized in the last week or two. Just for fun, try giving  your positive and negative energy investments Energy Dollar values. Do you see any patterns? Overall, are you gaining or losing energy during your week?

Stress can come from internal or external causes. We cannot fully control anything outside our own body or mind. We can, however, control our reactions (meaning “choose effective responses”) to internal or external causes. We are most likely to choose effective responses and strategies if we are selecting proper breathing techniques, proper diet and fluids, best posture, best exercise regime, good sleep, and satisfying recreation.

How would you like to start getting younger again?

–Kebba Buckley Button

Operating your life as though there is a giant Stress-O-Meter can only lead to an exhausting lifestyle, running on nervous energy. I call this the False Energy Range. In that range of energy, both fatigue and dis-ease, or “disease”, will accumulate. To escape the False Energy Range, you need excellent rest, correct refueling, breathing clear air, drinking high quality water, and beginning refreshing re-creation, or “recreation.” Escapees from the victimhood of exhaustion and negativity can then use LifeTools(sm) to convert stress to energy and respond more effectively to situations. This restructuring of thinking and responses then leads you into what I call the Real Energy Range. Now energy and productivity start climbing up, and each person starts to recharge, re-empower, revitalize, and actually rejuvenate.  How would you like to start getting younger again?

Next time:  Positives we can add, to lift our energy!


● Kebba Buckley Button is a corporate stress management trainer and the author of the award-winning book, Discover The Secret Energized You, and the 2012 book, Peace Within:  Your Peaceful Inner Core.  She also has a natural healing practice and is an ordained minister.

● Your comments are welcome!

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● Reach the writer at kebba@kebba.com .