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The Parable of the Runaway Horse

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Dr. Michael Olpin suggests that “Events themselves are not inherently stressful.”  When I was first introduced to this idea, I hesitated to agree. My first thoughts were, “Some events are stressful.”  “Being a nurse is stressful.”  “Raising a family is stressful.”  The Parable of the Runaway Horse offers excellent insight into how a calm attitude and how we interpret events can help us reframe our so-called “stressful” events. Let’s watch…

Dr. Michael Olpin’s “Parable of the Runaway Horse.”

As a nurse, I have had many days where I felt defeated. I have experienced many stressful events. I often carried this stress home with me, and it took days, if not weeks, to reset. The stress related to being a nurse has impacted my sleep and my health. Previously, I worked as a case manager. In this role, each day was unpredictable.  I dealt with angry patients and angry family members regularly.  I managed complex discharges where no matter how hard I tried and how many calls I made, I couldn’t put all the resources in place for my patients.  Rather than having a calm attitude, I felt defeated.  I also celebrated many days because I could put the resources in place, and my patients and families were extremely grateful.  It was a roller coaster ride every day.  It wasn’t healthy to take on the emotion and stress of every single situation.  As I have learned the concept of “allowing,” or what Dr. Olpin terms “a calm attitude,” my response to situations has changed. Rather than interpreting a complex patient experience as “negative” or a day when things don’t go as planned as “stressful,” this calm approach provides the tools to reframe the situation. This reframing allows me to be open to learning, growing, and not getting caught up in events that previously caused me stress. As Dr. Olpin suggests, having a calm approach to seemingly “positive” and “negative” events is truly freeing.

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