Stress is when you wake up screaming and you realize you haven’t fallen asleep yet.
I feel our lives are far more complicated and stressful now than were in the past. Stress is a broad brushstroke, it is the finer, emotional detail that causes us to behave in particular way. According to me stress itself in not negative but the way we respond towards different situations or emotions makes it negative or positive. But it is immensely imperative to know what are the causes of stress and how can we deal with it before we gets into perceptual darkness.
Causes of Stress
Unable to Express
We get stressed over what we have suppressed as opposed to expressed. When a person is unable to express his/her anger and repressed aggression feels completely powerless and this will not only increases stress level but, in many instances, manifested as depression.
Feeling Dis empowered
When a person feel that they have no control over what happens in their lives, it is as if they are mere pawns on a larger chessboard, where their contribution and performance doesn’t mean anything and do not guarantee maintaining their job. In 1990, a Labour Force Survey in Britain revealed that one percent of the population suffers from work related stress, anxiety disorder or depression and within span of five years, the percentage has risen to 30% and if the scale were to continue , the percentage would now be even higher.
Having to perform number of different jobs at the same time is stressful, particularly when those roles clash, such as for a mother who works from home. trying to cope simultaneously with the demands of kids and meet a client deadline is extremely stressful.
There are various factors in environment which can cause stress. For example new surroundings or working place where a person is unsure of what is expected , lack of understanding between personalities can cause huge amount of stress. Other reasons could be the temperature where you are living or working is too hot or cold or the noise levels are too high can lead to stress.
Fear of Unknown
Uncertainty is part of human experience. Some people can actually thrive in uncertain times , others can become emotionally paralysed. The psychological term for fear of the unknown is “xenophobia.” It means anything or anyone that’s unfamiliar or unknown. If you’re prone to worrying about the unknown, you may have developed a habit of catastrophizing, or imagining worst-case scenarios. Catastrophizing is known as a cognitive distortion. This is a way of thinking that creates an inaccurate view of reality.
Lack of Goals or Unrealistic goals
Goals add meaning to life. Lack of goals can make you wonder aimlessly and that leads to stress.Setting the right goals, having a plan to reach those goals, and following through on what is required to reach or maintain those goals may help you feel greater happiness and fulfillment while reducing stress levels. But having goals that are unrealistically high can also create excessive pressure and make you feel bad when you don’t achieve them. So try and Set Goals which are SMART, i.e. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time bound.
Fear of the unknown causes our mind to worry about the anticipation of the future threat. It triggers stress which is more psychological in nature and human may response through fight or flight mode. This can have chronic impact on health and can lead to serious health issues.
The only thing which is constant in this world is change, how many times have you heard this. But it’s true and cannot be denied. People who are not good with accepting things and lives in denial mode faces stress due to changes in their personal and professional lives.
There are certain warning signs that may assist you in recognising your degree of stress:
- Having high expectations of others
- Being overly demanding
- Getting extremely frustrated
- Being quick to anger, intolerant and impatient
- Feeling overwhelmed due to unrealistic goals
- Judging yourself and others too harshly
- Using words like have to, should, need to, must, ought to quite frequently
- Increase in negative habits and getting into escapist behaviour
If we do not take ownership of our lives and consequently feel victims of other’s action and behaviour, we will feel more stressed. There are certain situations which are out of our influence area however we do have choice in how we respond to these situations. Here are some ways to work with ridding ourselves of stress.
Tips to Deal with Stress
Easy said than done. Delegating means giving up control to a certain extent and it is this reason that most of us shy away from it. Why do most of us dislike delegating? It is not because we are perfectionist and cannot go with less than perfect result but rather the fear of not being able to control the final result. We create our own stress by telling ourselves hat we alone are capable. It is our ego and fear that is controlling us, By trusting others, to have faith in their abilities and to empower them, we can actually take huge step in authentically empowering ourselves as well as lessening our long term stress level.
Taking a Break
Many of us avoid taking breaks the reason could be that we feel no one will notice our absence and realise we are not critical to the functioning or because we can not let go control. But taking a break is vital as it relax your brain and you will be able to think more clearly and can be more efficient and productive.
Many of us increases our stress level by avoiding things that are difficult or less appealing. Prioritization is well explained through Time Management Matrix developed by Steven Covey in his book 7 Habits of highly effective people. By setting out specific plan of action and prioritizing tasks, we keep ourselves from avoiding facing the tasks we don’t want to do. The satisfaction we feel after the completion of task and the reduction of stress is well worth the effort.
Express rather than Supress
If you have a grievances with someone, tell them. Holding back will only make things worse. Now a days people like those who are upfront and are expressive. If you continue doing what you do not like , it may cause more stress, so rather walk out of such situation and rather be happy.
Play some Sport
Engaging yourself is some sport can not only make you physically fit but it also helps in reducing stress and keeping you mentally fit. But remember don’t fall into the trap of allowing your competitive behaviour to overpower you as that can ruin the whole purpose of engagement.
When did you last do something different or unexpected? Something which you haven’t planned. Doing something out of the blue will create new excitement and get your focus off the stressful situation for few hours at least.
A Relaxing Home
Make your home the sort of place that you want to return to . Keep the clutter to a minimum and ensure that you have tranquil music at hand. Share the day’s event with your partner and kids and make sure they reciprocate the same. Do not get into competitive mode as that can lead to more stress.
Love yourself for who you are, unconditionally and don’t wait for the day when you are wealthy, wise, slim, fit, etc. to appreciate all that you are. By excepting our inequality and yet striving for our own personal best within our limitations, we drastically reduce the stress that envy, attachment and blame causes.
Have you heard about 90/10 Principle of Steven Covey, where 10% of life is made up of what happens to you. 90% of life is decided by how you react. Keep this is Mind and do the needful.
By examining not only stress but more specifically , understanding the emotional reasons from which the stress arises , we can not only come to a deeper understanding of the causes but also how to deal with it.
This post is part of Blogchatter #CauseAChatter