You Are The Reason For Your Stress

I know it stings. And I know that you probably won’t consider me your favorite motivational speaker after this. (What? I wasn’t even in the top ten?) But I still believe this to be true: The reason for your stress is you. (Did you notice the rhyme I just made? Dr. Seuss would be proud – if he wasn’t mad at me for telling him he was the reason for his stress.)

I hear a lot of people blaming their stress on others. “It’s my boss.”  “It’s my mother-in-law.” “It’s that woman who had twelve items in the ten-items-or-less lane.” And while I do agree that there are people in our lives who seem to thrive on creating stressful situations, it still comes down to the universal time-tested truth, that you control how things affect you. Stress by definition is how you react to the circumstances you are in. Therefore, all control in how stressed you are, lies in you.

Nobody said it would be easy. And some circumstances are bigger than our ability to “fix” them. But a great power lies in us – the ability to choose what we take in – or rather what we leave in us.  So take a moment to look at that person in your life that has been the root cause of your stress. And instead of saying, “What can I do to fix this person or this situation?” simply say, “What can I do to release this person’s hold over my life? How will I choose to let this affect me?”  Again – easier said than done. Just like life.


Motivational Speaker Kelly Swanson - called one of North Carolina's funniest women by Our State Magazine. Kelly lifts the spirits of audiences from coast-to-coast using humor, storytelling, and lives of the characters from Prides Hollow - Kelly's make believe small town. This unique approach to motivational speaking allows Kelly to break through communications barriers and connect directly to the audience's imagination.
Her powerful stories and wacky wit will make you laugh, remind you that you matter, show you how to see beyond your obstacles, and teach you how to stand up and stick out in a crowded market.
To book motivational speaker Kelly Swanson:
Motivational speaker Kelly Swanson's website

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  1. Love it! I can’t help hearing, “Stress isn’t what happens to you, it’s how we react to what happens to you.” Even as someone who teaches and motivates others to Stress Less, Laugh More, I often have to remind myself of this when I choose the “wrong” airport line. Or yesterday when I was ready to reach behind and HELP the woman making people’s coffee at turtle speed. Great advice. Great reminder.

  2. Love it too! … and Kelley you rock… for many reasons, not least of which, because you’re not afraid to call it as you see it, when you think what you have to share will help us… so thank you! As a firm proponent of the notion that BS is optional (BS = being stressed) your timely reminder evoked a giggle as I was allowing myself, ever so briefly, to be really peeved… having been emotionally/physiologically/neurologically triggered I’d lost sight of the fact that staying peeved was optional… that taking a few deep breaths would recalibrate my central nervous system (goodbye physiological/neurological excuses) and that I could choose whether to continue heroically suffering whilst blaming and trying to figure out how to fix someone else… or I could choose to suck it up (technical term) and look for something to be grateful for and ways to improve the situation for both of us. So… in a nutshell, thanks for helping me to get out of my own way and opening up the possibility (dare I say probability) that I’ll now have a much better day… as will most of the people who come into contact with me as I’m no longer grumpy. Cheers to you Kelley, you’re STILL one of my favorite motivational speakers!

  3. Oh yes, Ms. Kelly!!  A friend once lovingly said to me (when I was fuming over something someone had done), “Don’t let her rent space in your head.”  Wow. That put the ball right smack in MY court!!!  Thanks for the GREAT reminder!

  4. Right you are, Kelly!  And it IS easier said than done but like any muscle, if you keep exercising it it gets stronger (easier) to do which means we can live the majority of our days with a little less stress.  Thanks for this reminder that I'm goint to pass this on to my kids so they can learn it sooner rather than later!

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