You do it to yourself.
That’s the truth.
You create your own stress.
Yes, there are challenging events and difficult circumstances and lots of demands. Yes, it’s tough. But stress… worry… In the end, the upset is entirely your creation.
But why do you do it? How do you stop?
These are the questions that we all Google, ask our Gurus, and journal for answers.
Why? If you know you create the stress in your life, why is it a daily challenge to cope?
One solution is to get help. Find some stress support.
Seeing the Forest, Not the Trees
When you are in a stress crisis, it’s easy to see individual details. You notice your tight shoulders and irritable replies. Maybe your skin breaks out or there’s a particular type of headache you get.
But in that crisis, it’s hard to step back and get the bigger picture. You’re worried, short-tempered, in pain. The big picture feels distant when the details are so large.
This is the time to get stress support.
Having a “stress buddy” is a great way to get perspective. A stress buddy will notice trends in your life and see your patterns. Understanding your stress as a pattern frees you from the details and gives you the big picture.
Need an example?
I have a friend who would be near divorce very Christmas season. In early December her annoyance with her husband began. Each week it grew. By the end of the month, she’d be furious with everything he did.
But in January, she relaxed and was much more forgiving.
My friend loves her husband but in the stress of the Holiday season, all his “faults” became intolerable.
After several years of this pattern, I noticed it. One year she began complaining about her husband and I said, “Don’t worry; it’s December. In January you’ll feel better.”
This was a light bulb moment for her. She hadn’t realized how holiday stress impacted their marriage.
I’m happy to say that this pattern no longer exists. Just the knowledge of it freed her from it.
When I tell a “story about a friend,” I risk sounding disingenuous. I’m not telling about my friend to imply I don’t have stress patterns.
I tell this story about a friend because it shows how much easier it is to see stress patterns in someone other than yourself.
We all have these patterns. The lesson of this story is that having a trusted stress buddy helps you find these patterns.
How to Find a Stress Support
There are many ways to set up a good stress support system. You can find support in “official” supporters, counselors and therapists who are trained to support you, or in “unofficial” support, friends and loved ones who care enough about you to help you.
Look for your stress buddy in:
- Life Coaches
- Support Groups
- Stress Management programs
If you don’t have any of these resources in your life, don’t worry. Over the next couple of weeks I’ll have some resources to suggest.
It’s easy to point to the circumstances of your life and blame them for your stress. It’s convincing and logical. But the deep truth is that stress is only experienced when we choose to see our circumstances as stressful. Get stress support to reveal you’re the truth about your stress and free yourself.