top of page

Dealing with stress ... it's as simple as 'ABC'

Updated: Apr 3, 2019

Have you previously reacted badly in a stressful situation and made poor decisions because of it?

Consider this ... you’re driving down the road and, out of nowhere a driver guts you up and you find yourself jamming on the breaks and cursing and swearing at the car as it races off in front of you. It seems very much a case of ‘cause and effect’, but in reality nothing could be further than the truth.

The affect of the poor driving itself, if not the cause of your verbal outburst, something happens between the two actions.

Let’s mentally slow down what happens and look at what’s really going on.

You are calmly driving down the road, you’re feeling comfortable, you’re journey has been uneventful, it’s been a long day you’re looking forward to getting home and suddenly you get shaken out of your reverie.

The Activating Event in this scenario happens, the bad driver and his seeming lack of any good driving disciplines.

BEFORE your verbal outburst the emotion and physical Consequence you have already triggered a number of physical and emotional beliefs; fear, the driver almost hit you, your life was threatened; your code of driving and being courteous has been contravened; you automatically breaked and you realise that you could have caused the drive behind you to hit you, even if the other driver didn’t. All these thoughts, all these Beliefs, have passed through your mind, even if you haven’t been fully away of them.

And THEN the Consequences are displayed, your own physical responses of fist shaking, and verbally you let rip.

What then if you could have re-framed the event at the time that it happened, if you had realise that the driver was rushing and in a panic themselves as they’d had a call their child had been rushed into hospital, how much of what you felt about the situation would change, how would your reaction be different. I’m sure that you wouldn’t condone the poor driving, but I suspect you may have felt a little less judgemental and a little more forgiving.

Elaine Sullivan

Founder, Elaine K Sullivan Ltd


Training, Coaching and Mentoring

Find out more about me


For speaking enquiries:

10 views0 comments
bottom of page