Are You Creating Your Own Stress?
Stress is the state that you experience when you perceive that you cannot adequately cope with the demands being made on you. You feel under pressure and don't have the physical and mental reserves to cope. There are many causes of stress ranging from a series of minor irritations to major upheavals. To feel less stressed you need to recognise that you are stressed, understand the causes of your stress and take action to address the causes.
When looking for the cause of your stress you may find that you are actually creating your own stress. I thought it may be helpful to you to outline when you may be creating your own stress and what you may want to do differently. Here are some examples of when you may be creating your own stress:
Things outside of your control. You can easily get stressed by things that are not within your control e.g. traffic problems, legislation, company politics etc. Understand what is within and outside your control and stay focused on the things that you can control. You may be surprised at how quickly this will reduce stress.
Other people and their behaviour. You can feel stressed because of how you are reacting to what other people are doing, saying or how they are behaving. To reduce stress accept that you cannot control the behaviour of other people and what they say and do but you can change your reaction to them.
Change and unexpected events. Stress can be caused by how you react to change, as well as you resisting change. It can also arise due to how you react to unexpected events. Change happens and unexpected things arise each day. To reduce stress, accept that change happens and is part of life, reschedule as a result of change and adapt accordingly.
What might or might not happen. You can get very stressed by your mind creating scenarios of what might or might not happen in the future. Usually what actually happens is different to all the scenarios you imagine. To feel less stressed stop your self from thinking through what might or might not happen and focus on now and what you want to achieve, plan how to achieve it and take action to get there.
The past and what has happened. Thinking about the past can create a lot of stress as you can start to worry about what you should have done or how you could have handled something differently. Accepting that you cannot change the past and focusing on now and the future will help you feel less stressed.
What you think someone else is thinking or feeling. You can get very stressed by making assumptions about how another person is thinking or feeling. Often these are assumptions that you are making without reference to fact or talking to the other person. To feel less stressed don't make assumptions about what others are thinking or feeling, check the facts and have a chat with the other person to understand where they are coming from.
Feeling you have no options or choices. You can get very stressed if you feel that you have no options or choices. Acknowledge that you always have a choice and have options and you will feel less stressed.
Things you can change or could have changed by taking action. You can get stressed because the outcome of something is different to what you wanted. However in these situations if you had taken action earlier the outcome may have been different. Consider taking action rather than just letting things happen to feel less stressed.
Self created pressures. Stress can arise because you create pressure on yourself such as by setting unrealistic deadlines, taking on too much, being a perfectionist and being unrealistic about what you can actually achieve. To feel less stressed consider what pressures you are putting on yourself and change things to reduce the pressures.
Unhelpful thinking. Stress can arise because of how you think about things because the way you think influences how you feel and behave. For less stress, step back and understand the way you are thinking and where your thinking is unhelpful look at changing the way you think.
As can be seen from the above there are many ways that you may be creating your own stress. What stress and pressure are you creating for yourself?
You can also read other business and stress management tips articles that may help you be more effective at work or in your business.
Author: Liz Makin
Published: May 2014
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