Do you have stress? Of course you do! Everyone has some amount of stress, it comes with the territory of being alive. You may get so used to it that it no longer feels as overwhelming as it once did, but your body is still pumping out stress hormones at a “Red Alert” level. After a while, you start to get used to your new stress level and may mistakenly believe that it’s no longer stressful. It’s amazing how resilient, adaptive, and deceptive your body and mind can be.
A new job will be stressful at first, but as you get accustomed to your new surroundings, schedule, coworkers, boss(es), and responsibilities the stress will begin to wane. But… if your new boss is a jerk, your coworkers are lazy and gossipy, or the workload is insanely high, those stresses do not wane; you merely get used to them. Kind of.
To tell whether your stress has waned or if you’ve simply gotten used to it, ask yourself this question: Do I REALLY calmly and fully accept the situation, and/or other person’s words/behavior? OR does it get under my skin, grind my gears, set my teeth on edge, or otherwise annoy me? Do I ever complain about it? It usually takes a concerted effort to manage and relieve stressors that do not simply require adapting to a new way of doing things.
Recently, I’ve gotten emails from 2 life/business coaches challenging me to do 1 thing that scares me. Believe it or not, those emails actually spurred me into action. Finally. It also got me thinking: if a challenge can work for scary things, it ought to work on stressful ones as well. So this week I challenge you to choose one stressor and create a plan to either reduce it or get rid of it entirely.
Which stressor you choose doesn’t matter. After all, less stress is less stress, right? You probably have many reasons why you can’t do it, just like I had several reasons I hadn’t done some of those things that scared me. I just had to take a deep breath and do it. OK, so I took a deep breath, broke my scary project down into manageable sized pieces, and then dove in and got to work. You can use the same method to break down your stressor.
It might look something like this:
OR like this:
Undoubtedly some stressors will be easier than others to reduce or eliminate, and some won’t be amenable to this method, but many will be. This is just a stepping off point for beginning to reduce your stress.
So, will you take the stress challenge? Let me know in the comments below! What stress are you going to reduce or eliminate?