Why Are You Stressed?
Do you know why you are stressed? If you don’t know the cause it is going to be hard to fix.
Many of us feel stressed but when asked why we just don’t seem know, it’s more “well, you know just too much to do” is the standard answer. It is impossible to fix something when we don’t know what is wrong. Often just the process of identifying our source of stress goes a long way towards some feeling of relief.
What is Pushing Your Buttons?
Identify what makes you feel stressed, overwhelmed and uneasy. Making a list of your stressful experiences is useful. Remember no experience is in and of itself good or bad to paraphrase Shakespeare. What makes it so is our interruption and reaction to the experience.
Develop Personal Strategies
Immediately deal with the issues that you can control directly. If you are stressed by the morning compute try waking up earlier and leaving a little sooner. If you don’t want to go into work early you might go for a pleasant walk before starting. You might even be able to request some flexibility in when you start and end work. The earlier start in the morning may help you complete tasks before the fast pace of the day starts and by not leaving things till the last minute. Forget about the issues that you cannot influence like bad weather or slow elevators. We spend way too much time on the “little things” as Dr. Richard Carlson pointed out in his book series Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.
With better planning, improved efficiency, and increased productivity, the number of crises you encounter should decline.
Make Your List
Then put a score beside it with 0 being “no problem” to 10 being “This is going to drive me nuts!” Then tackle the highest immediately from the perspective of “ what can I do to control this or to look at it from a perspective that reduces my stress reaction to the event. I would really love it if people were to share the ideas on my blog in the comments below.
Types of Stress Issues
If you have been reading my newsletter for any length of time I look at stress normally as what we refer to as short term, high-level stress. This can be something like a change order near a project deadline. Without any long term affects we usually hunker down and work the longer hours under less than ideal conditions. The danger to health is usually the result of chronic low levels of stress; this leads to burn out.
A third type of stress that is finally getting more media and health care attention is post-traumatic stress disorder. This is often a result of a short-term exposure to a signal incident, but the effects can last for years. My friend, colleague and former police officer Sylvio (Syd) A. Gravel, M.O.M. experience this for over a quarter of a century as a result of a single 56 second issue. In my newsletter this week Syd starts to tell us about this horrible affliction. I think you will find it to be a good read, so sign up today to see Syd’s article.