The “Stress Check” – A Simple Solution to Managing Stress
Stress these days seems as though it is coveted. “If you are walking around unstressed and underwhelmed — then you my friend are NOT doing enough in your life” seems to be going theme in society these days. We are hurrying around and piling things on our plate, as though we can’t feel a sense of fulfillment without a bunch of stuff going on, i.e. stress.
Contrary to popular belief, stress does NOT equate to productivity. Stress most definitely does NOT equate a higher quality of life. Stress is actually the opposite of productivity and the converse to a decent quality of life. Stress leaves people working so hard to not to do worse, that they are actually missing out on opportunities to do better. Stress also wreaks havoc on ones body in soo many ways from raising your risk of having a stroke to having potential damaging effects on your heart.
The good news is, there is a simple “Stress Check”
1. Check your priorities!
When things first start to teeter out of balance its because our priorities are not in order. Whatever is not in line with your priorities in life, should immediately lose its significance and fall lower on the totem pole. I know I know — that’s a crazy idea, especially when there is a “consequence”. Which leads us into our next point…the validity of these thoughts.
2. Check whether the threats are real.
A lot of times our stress is fueled by unrealistic and unqualified fears. Often times those unrealistic and unqualified fears sound like this: “Someone will get angry” or “Something could go wrong” — in other words a list of vague them, those, these, they etc paired with angry, wrong, sad, mad. The quick test to these is ask yourself three questions.
- Who is they/them/someone/something? If you can not give a “face” to these variables then there is no real need to stress about something that does not exist.
- What does angry, wrong, sad, mad mean? What is the rationale behind the term. If you boss gets “mad” does this mean a couple of days of working late, or a negative performance eval? Understanding what the result would be will help you prioritize your tasks.
- Is there any room for compromise? Can you be creative? Are deadlines or people flexible? Is there even the smallest bit of wiggle room? Basically, is there anything you can do to better accommodate both yourself and the situation. If yes, then don’t stress!
3. Check if the world will end.
Seriously, all things considered, will life as you know it cease to exist? Or will you be able to brush yourself off and move on to the next day.
Sometimes we just cannot do everything under the sun. As long as we are willing to give, people will be willing to take. We have to set our own boundaries, perform our own “Stress Checks” and be in control of our lives. If we do not put ourselves, our mental health and well-being first — nobody else will.
Being in control of your life and having realistic expectations about your day-to-day challenges are the keys to stress management, which is perhaps the most important ingredient to living a happy, healthy and rewarding life. – Marilu Henner