I think it’s safe to say that we’ve all experienced stress at some point in our lives, and most of us probably think we know what caused us to feel that way. What’s interesting though is that the true source of stress is often quite different from what we think it is, which can make managing stress a tricky situation in itself! If your stress levels are higher than you’d like, keep reading to find out how you can uncover the real source of your stress….
When we find ourselves in stressful situations it can often be easier to blame what is going on immediately around us, and be ‘at effect’ of our circumstances.
However, our own thoughts and behaviors often play a major part in how stressed we feel, so it’s important to check in with yourself first to make sure you’re not the true cause of your own stress. For example, you might be feeling under pressure at work to meet a tight deadline but poor time management skills, rather than the job itself, are causing you to feel stressed. In other words, YOU are the one increasing your stress levels, not your job.
To pinpoint the true source of your stress you need to take a close look at your mindset, attitude, and habits of behavior to see how they are impacting your stress levels. Importantly, don’t always assume it’s outside factors that are causing the levels to rise.
What I’ve found over the years, both as a Coach and also as an employee working in some particularly stressful situations, is that many people hold onto stress like a badge of honor to indicate how busy they are, or in some cases how important they are. The fact is that you can be successful and good at your job without suffering from stress. But if you’re clinging on to it to increase your levels of self-worth then your stress levels are going to remain the same, which can be very detrimental, both physically and mentally.
Similarly, consider for a moment whether you accept stress as an everyday part of your life, both at work and at home? If you find yourself saying things like “It’s always manic at work” or “My job is always stressful” then you are letting stress become an integral part of your life and accepting that it will always be that way.
The first step to reducing stress is to be honest with yourself about why you are feeling that way in the first place. Only when you take responsibility for the part you are playing in the equation can you start to reduce how stressed you feel. However, all the time you blame other people, situations or circumstances for your stress, your ability to improve how you feel will remain outside of your control.
How do you manage your stress levels? Post a comment below and let me know…
Written by Faye Hollands – Director at Outshine Consulting.
Faye is an accomplished Career Coach and Time Management Specialist who has successfully coached countless clients on how to create a career they love, get more done in less time, and achieve personal and professional success. You can contact Faye on +61 2 8323 4335 or email email@example.com
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