Is There Really a Positive Approach to Stress?

Are you always talking about being stressed? Thinking about being stressed?

Sadly, we put a great deal of pressure on ourselves to succeed in our chosen profession or in a particular area of life and if our personal expectations are not met, then we stress about the outcome or our perceived lack of success.

There is GOOD stress and BAD stress.   One can motivate you and the other one can kill you.

We talk about overcoming stress, managing stress, avoiding stress, responding to the signs of stress, causes of stress, results of stress, how to deal with stress. Why is it that we talk and think about being less stressed rather than talking and thinking about being more positive, more relaxed, and happier?

This is a citation, Sadly, we put a great deal of pressure on ourselves to succeed in our chosen profession or in a particular area of life

It is actually a very personal thing and we all experience and exhibit stress in different ways.

First, stress and anxiety are different and neither of them are depression although they are often mistakenly grouped together. Look at the issue creating the emotion and think about it. How much of a drama is it really? 

Do you even want to understand your stress, or do you simply want to get rid of it? If you can understand why you are stressed and what is causing it, then you have a much better chance of changing your thinking and behaviour, to reduce or eliminate your stress triggers.

A stress trigger is something that can make you angry quickly. Things you just have zero tolerance for, and they just drive you nuts. Our stress triggers can sometimes become phobias which impact on our day to day thinking and functioning. That is clearly not good.

There are actually good stressors as well as bad. Some of the good ones can challenge us to think through a problem or challenge differently and then look at what you can learn from that experience.

When we think about stress, we often refer to the symptoms which can be debilitating however they are just the symptoms. The end effect. The result of being stressed. The suffering involved. 

Stress is real and it costs money, costs health, costs time, costs relationships, costs opportunities, and in some cases, sadly, costs lives. According to experts it supresses the nervous system and ultimately turns off the immune system. This is cannot be good.

So, what can cause stress?

In fact the real cause can be quite deep and there are only a few real core causes, however some symptoms are:

  1. Lack of sleep means we are not functioning to optimum level, so we make mistakes, miss deadlines and that causes lack of sleep which causes stress….
  1. Feeling overwhelmed and overloaded can cause stress.   That feeling of having no clarity or direction.  Lack of control.  This is about managing your life and having a healthy balance. Look at the real reason behind this. Reducing stress can give you more clarity and control over your life and work.
  1. Emotions such as fear and anger can create stress.    Usually fear of loss (relationships, financial, health).  Relocating – home or business.   Anger can be a trigger – but what is the trigger for your anger? .  Managing your emotions can seem impossible when you are in the middle of a crisis.  Consider the impact on others if you can have more balanced emotions.
  1. Making bad choices.   We often do not realise how important our choices are and the consequences of choices we make.  Our thinking creates our choices and then we take action on that.  What if you could think differently and make better, more informed choices?
  1. Being disorganised.  No plan.  No map for success.  This creates chaos.  Take the time to create the map, the plan, the structure for your business and even your personal life.  Think about the positive results of being organised and having purpose around your life.
  1. Clutter.  Clean up.  Sometimes it is simply a case of “de-cluttering” your mind, your home, or your workspace.  Mess and chaos can create stress and it is unnecessary.  
  1. Procrastination.   This is an unproductive behaviour and a stress trigger. Avoiding doing the things we either don’t want to do or don’t know how to do.  Putting things off ….. sound familiar?
  1. Expectation can cause stress – either our own expectation of ourselves or that of others. Either perceived or real.   Are we putting too much pressure on ourselves to be “perfect”?  Or whatever that means to us. 
  1. Outside influences such as traffic or people you struggle to relate to.  There are different levels of stress from being “stressed in traffic” (that is a choice by the way – you can also choose not to be stressed in such situations), stress about making a difficult decision, dealing with challenging people, about a task you are reluctant or afraid to do, or from some much deeper emotional issue.
  1. Ignoring your own wellbeing.  Not looking after yourself and sometimes descending into burnout can be a life-changer.  Stress hormones can have a negative effect on the way your body functions.

These are some of the “behavioural pitfalls” that you can descend into.   If these are well-managed they can become strengths and assist in your direction.  So, think about it – what is it costing you to hold onto stress?

What would be the benefits in letting it go, making change and adopting a new strategy?

Removing or learning to manage stress is a decision, and before you can really make change you have to decide that you want to live differently and why.   Creating an awareness around your stress, and a desire to change how you feel, can be the first positive steps towards success.

How do you deal with stress effectively? 

The strategy for dealing with stress depends on the person and the type of stress.   Get some help is the first recommendation.   Take action and talk to someone you trust about your specific issues.   Stop and breathe.   Be mindful of your own wellbeing.   

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