Now that we know a little bit about stress and just how common it is (click here to read Part 1), it’s important to understand just how your perception of stress affects your experience of stress.
Stress is a relative term, meaning that your experience will differ from that of someone else. Sounds simple, really. Perhaps even a little obvious? But it’s in the seemingly obvious that the power lies.
What does stress look like?
Feelings of being agitated or short-fused; sleepless nights; loss of or excessive appetite; unexpected weight loss or gain; high blood pressure; regular sickness; losing sight of reality; excessive drinking and smoking; and saying hurtful things to others, to our families, or even to ourselves are all signs of stress. While a small amount is perfectly normal, once you find yourself dreading the next “exposure” (whatever that may be), enough is enough.
Your body and mind work closely with each other. In a perpetual loop of feedback, they respond to the changes they sense in order to try to adapt. The changes to the body and mind are very real. Stress hormones circulate in the blood and build up over time, manifesting those undesirable outcomes.
But how do we change this?
Well, “intervention” at one point can significantly reduce the feedback received at another point. It’s kind of like hitting the chill button for a while.
If this makes sense to you, then continue to read on.
If right now you are thinking “this is all bulls**t”, then definitely read on.
Getting stress under control is nothing fancy. In-fact it’s quite simple. The first step is acknowledging that you are experiencing it, and to what degree it is affecting you. This doesn’t mean you have to get a plane and write it in the sky, it could mean that you simply talk it over with a friend, or even to yourself.
Admitting you are experiencing stress means you can now start to manage it and get on with your life.
Q. “But what if someone else is causing my stress?”
A. The same principles apply.
Now, I’m not saying that you aren’t going to experience some uncomfortable emotions in your life, of which stress is a part of at times. That would be unrealistic.
And, this article does not propose that we can somehow rid the world of every little frustration, or ease your workload, or change the entire culture of a company overnight. That would be naïve. What is the purpose, is to help you separate yourself from the stress and take control of the outcomes. By taking control of the outcomes you can steer your life in a more productive, fulfilled manner.
Now that you’ve put yourself through the uncomfortable part of acknowledging the stress, you can move on to the next part: an effective tool-kit to refer to when you need.