Stress is part of everyone’s life. Every. Single. One. Anyone who tells you differently is either lying, delusional, or trying to sell you something. The nature and intensity of stressors will differ from person to person, but no one escapes its clutches.
Some stressors are outside your control: death, illness, liars, sociopaths, nosy buttinskis, etc. With these stressors, the only thing you can control is your response to the stress.
Some stressors come from within: perfectionist tendencies, unrealistic expectations, people pleasing tendencies, etc. With these stressors, you have to be willing to change yourself.
Everyone says they want to reduce their stress but few people actually take the steps to do it. Why is that? What stops us from taking action? It’s probably the same thing that keeps us from also pursuing our dreams: Fear. Fear of missing out. Fear of the unknown. Fear of failure. Fear of lots of things.
There are two ways to deal with stress: stress relief and stress reduction. Both are vital. Stress relief is how you react to the stress you already have in order to calm your body and mind after the stress response has kicked in. There’s a lot of talk about stress relief (some will incorrectly refer to this as stress reduction) in the media, and more people than ever are jumping on its bandwagon. In simple terms, stress relief is activating your body’s relaxation response. Stress reduction, on the other hand, is proactively identifying and eliminating your stressors. It’s a much more difficult undertaking than simply relieving they symptoms of stress.
Everyone has their own tolerance for change, and that includes stress. Sometimes the devil you know is preferable to the devil you don’t. But sometimes, the devil you know is so evil (or stressful) that you’re willing to risk a lot to be shot of it.
How far are you willing to go to relieve or reduce your stress?
Of course, all of these won’t apply to you. They’re merely suggestions to get you thinking about your stressors and how far you might be willing to go to have less stress. There’s no right choice, only the choice(s) that’s right for you at that moment. If, after giving it some time, you find your choice isn’t working so well you can always make another choice.
This list is far from exhaustive, so feel free to add to it in the comments below. And don’t forget to share using the handy buttons just beneath the post.