Is it Possible that You Have Actually Cultivated a Stress-Filled Life?
Rev. Dr. Kitty Boitnott, NBCT, RScP
Heart-Centered Career Transition and Job Search Coach | Stress Management Coach
We often identify sources of stress as those things outside of ourselves that annoy us and cause us irritation. They present problems for us. And we have difficulty coping with them easily--if at all.
Certainly, there are many external causes of stress in each of our lives.
For example, the clutter at home can create stress. Difficult people at work create stress. Problems with our spouses, our kids, our parents...well, you get the point.
We rarely consider that stress is also the result of internal factors, however.
Our stress may be the result of false perceptions or unrealistic expectations of how things "should be" as opposed to how they are in reality.
They may even be the result of your holding yourself to some unrealistic standard that no one could live up to.
As a result, you could be setting yourself up for failure.
And, because of that, you might be cultivating a stress-filled life.
Consider for a moment, as an example of what I mean, your ability to set strong personal boundaries and say "no" to things you don't want to do.
Be honest right now.
Do you have trouble saying, "no?"
Or do you often agree to do things that you would rather not do?
And as a result of your reluctance to say "no," do you feel that your time is not your own but belongs to other people?
If these questions resonate with you, consider that you have the power to say "no" any time you want.
I learned this lesson many years ago, and it freed up my life in significant ways.
When you say "no" to doing something you don't want to do, you lessen your feeling of resentment significantly.
Resentment grows when you feel obligated to do something you don't want to do.
Feelings of resentment add to the stress you already feel. So, why not rid yourself of resentment and lessen your stress at the same time?
Sometimes we unintentionally overschedule ourselves. After all, we have been conditioned to believe that "more is better" when it comes to being busy.
But there is a lot to be said for slowing down and just letting yourself be as opposed to being busy all the time.
Overachievers are the worst at this. They think they are being lazy unless they are busy every minute of every day.
The truth is, however, that because they don't give themselves a break, they start to buckle under the pressure of being overscheduled and too busy.
We need to give ourselves a break.
Either let something go or delegate it to someone else.
You could also decide to delay it until you have time to deal with it.
What you want to go for is avoiding the feeling that you have the weight the world on your shoulders.
Being stretched beyond our limits can lead to emotional meltdowns.
Don't allow yourself to get so overburdened that you start to break down physically, mentally, or emotionally. Give yourself time to relax while also getting all your chores and duties done.
If you have trouble with setting boundaries and haven't learned how to say "no," you may need to practice. You don't have to be rude about it. Be kind to the person making a request that overburdens you.
Gently let them know you have too much on your plate right now. If they persist, you may need to get firm. Admit that you are stressed, and you can't add one more thing to your "to-do list" right now.
If you have trouble keeping up with everything you have going on, use a planner.
It can help you keep track of your duties, responsibilities, and obligations. A quick look at the planner can let you know if you have time to add one more thing to your list. It will also let you know if you need to say "no" to something new.
Allow yourself free time where you don't feel obligated to do anything. You need that downtime to regroup.
Just reading a book or watching a favorite show can help relax you. You must take the occasional time out so you can recharge your proverbial battery.
Remember that the only person in charge of your life is YOU.
If you find yourself feeling unduly stretched by obligations, it's time to take stock.
You need to think about saying "no" more often. You need to take charge of your schedule and decide what you want to do and what you don't want to do.
No one else gets to decide that for you. You are your own boss. You cede that responsibility to someone else at your own peril.
People will take advantage of your generosity and kindness if you let them. It is up to you to set the boundaries and decide how much of your life you are willing to give up.
If you want to take control of your life, then do so, and don't delay. By establishing boundaries, you will no longer be cultivating a stress-filled life.
Until next time.
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Here is what you learn from this valuable course:
- Stress is a fact of life, but it doesn't have to run your life. You get to choose how to manage (or don't manage) your work, relationships, health, finances, and even your spiritual life.
- Many people feel that stress has taken over their lives. They have lost control of their lives. They start skipping exercise and become disconnected from family members and close relationships. They may begin to abusing alcohol or drugs. That only makes matters worse!
- Learn how to manage your stress more proactively and effectively. You want to love your life. And you can, but you have to know how to take control of the chaos that surrounds you.
NIP YOUR STRESS IN THE BUD!
- Mind Your Mindset
- Healthy Habits
- Control Your Environment
- Manage Your Workload
- Up Your Game with Mel Robbins' Five-Second Rule
- Set Better Boundaries with Family, Friends, and Colleagues...Even Your Boss
- Ask for Help
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