Why do we stress?

Stress break up

While there are many reasons why you might experience stress, here are three reasons that I have observed to be true.

  1. We stress when we do not set realistic expectations for ourselves or others and we expect ourselves or others to live up to these unrealistic expectations.
  2. We stress when we don’t allow ourselves to say no to other people’s requests or unrealistic expectations, and we end up doing things that are low on our priority list causing us to burnout and feel overwhelmed.
  3. We stress when we only see the challenges and the negative things that are going on and don’t take a few quality moments each day to be present with our life, and look for what we do have to be thankful and appreciative of.

A lot of the advice about how to beat stress has to do with taking a break, exercising, or taking a vacation. I like to help people balance stress by asking them these questions:

  1. How is your stress benefiting you? Is it making you do better work, helping you to know what you don’t want, getting you to be accountable, giving you an excuse to complain, or is your stress driving you to want to make changes?
  2. WHY do you stress? Ultimately, it’s because you care. What is it that you care about? Your reputation? Your child? Doing a good job? Not letting someone down?
  3. Do you just need to have a few glasses of wine? (Just kidding)

By taking the time to look for the positives of your stress, you can open up to a bigger picture perspective, and see both sides of you stress – not just the negative side. I;ve found that this helps to create a greater overall balance.

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