How Do I Approach A Major Positive Event That I Know Will Be Stressful -- Such As A Wedding?

Dr. Jeffrey Janata answers the question: 'Removing Stress From Positive Events?'

— -- Question: How do I approach a major positive event that I know will be stressful -- such as a wedding?

Answer: Well I think anytime that we can anticipate what's going to be stressful for us, we're ahead of the game because we can plan for it, we can try to predict what those challenges are going to be and put strategies into place to try to handle them. I think it's reasonable to think about seeking advice from others who have been there.

I think it's reasonable to try to be organized and have a sense about what things need to be done when, because there's an awful lot of stress that comes from the worry that we've forgotten something or that something's going to be left undone.

Perhaps the most important issue though to remember about the stress of a positive event, like a wedding, is that that stress can come from the contrast between our expectations of the positive event and how that event actually plays out. We need to work to make our expectations realistic. So if we have dreamed of a particular kind of wedding and that's a scenario in our minds is that everyone's going to get along and be happy and celebrate with us on our joyous day, and we forget about the fact that uncle Harry doesn't really get along too well with cousin Nancy. And that if we don't take care to seat them separately we're going to be in trouble. We fail to take a realistic approach to something that otherwise should be joyful, and we run the risk that that very positive stress will actually create even more stress than we might have liked.

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