Stress, Everyone Has It, But Not Everyone Realizes Where It Comes From!
Most of us are well aware of the major sources of stress in our lives- money problems, in-laws, hectic schedules and unreasonable bosses just to name a few. However, many of us are largely unaware of the chronic stressors and low-grade challenges that don’t necessarily overwhelm us in the moment. Little things can add up to big things and underlying stress is a prime example. It isn’t uncommon for people to report feelings of agitation and even anxiety, but not be able to definitely pinpoint the source.
Here are 5 potential hidden stressors and how to overcome them.
1.) The small stuff! Often we overlook the small annoyances and blame the big issues for contributing to our stress, but that may be a mistake. For example, when you spend 10 minutes on the phone following prompts, but can’t get a live person to help you, it can be stressful. When the cashier is moving at a snail’s pace and your babysitter arrives 10 minutes late, therefore, putting you in a rush, it triggers subconscious fears which in turn creates stress and anxiety. Because the fear is subconscious, we don’t make the connection, but we feel the impact. When you find yourself dealing with a lot of small issues, recognize you are doing the best you can be given the circumstances. Engage in some basic relaxation exercises such as deep breathing to circumvent the stress and anxiety before it becomes a bigger issue.
2.) Technology issues. While computerizing things are supposed to make life easier, sometimes the most seemingly easy task can become a problem because of technical issues. Recognize that technical issues are often not about you, but rather about the equipment. Again, do the best you can with what you have and let others know your circumstances. The good news here is technical issues are so commonplace that often just letting someone know you “computer is acting up” is all the explanation needed. This allows you some leeway to solve the problem.
3.) Other peoples’ stress. Stress is contagious. In fact just watching someone else be stressed out can increase our own cortisol levels (stress hormone). Also when someone we know experiences a significant stressful event, we tend to stress out and worry that the same thing could happen to us. To limit our exposure to other peoples’ stress, avoid engaging in drama. Limiting exposure does not mean you can’t be empathetic, but it can help to be selective in how much and how you focus on it. For example, if we know someone who is going through a significantly stressful event, look for ways to help and contribute in a positive way and minimize hyper-focusing on the circumstances.
4.) Limit distractions. Today more than ever, distractions are tempting…social media, texting, and entertainment are all available on our phones. For many people, their phones never leave their sight. When we are distracted, we lose our focus and even simple tasks take more of our time. Practicing mindfulness when we are engaging in tasks helps us to stay focused and get into “The Flow.”
5.) Limit interruptions. Again, phones and other technology can be huge sources of interruptions and many people work and live in interrupted driven environments. Constant interruptions create stress because our attention gets scattered and we aren’t productive. Neurologically multi-tasking doesn’t work so you are better off to limit your attention to one task at a time. When you need to be productive, consider letting others know that you do not want to be interrupted. Turn off technology and give yourself the space to make your task at hand the priority. In the end, you will find your productivity goes up and your stress goes down…it’s a win win!
For help learning to deal with your chronic and often times hidden stressors, consider working with a life coach! I offer 4 and 8 session coaching packages and many clients report their sessions with me are the best part of their week because it is all about them and their lives moving forward. For more information, visit coachmonique.com or call 412-400-2084 because remember, most people don’t need a therapist, they just need a change…it’s easier than you think and you’ll be glad you did!
Most people don’t need a therapist, they just need a change.™
Coach Monique is a certified Emotional Intelligence Life Coach. She helps her clients get the CHANGES they want with emotionally intelligent and innovative tools, techniques and strategies to get RAPID RESULTS REAL FAST! Call 412-400-2085 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your CHANGE TODAY.