How do you manage stress and emotional stuff??
Let's talk about stress and emotions as both have been running on high for the past 6 months and on med-high for the past 4-5 years. When people ask us what the best way is to manage or reduce stress, guaranteed there’s a lot more going on behind the scenes. I should know, I’m a bit of a workaholic because I love what I do, but it can take a toll on relationships and your life in general. Most people look for the obvious solutions like time management, meditation and mindfulness etc. Or they try to control their environment and the people in their lives. I do/did both. I was/still can be a control freak. I understand that all of my clients are busy. They often have demanding jobs, and lots of people depending on them.
However, the REAL reason people, myself included, suffer with such overwhelming stress is because of unresolved emotional issues.
Here’s just a few examples… - Perhaps you hate your job and if you’re completely honest with yourself you’ve had enough. But you’re terrified of the uncertainty of changing jobs or career. So you play it safe and sacrifice your happiness for predictability. - Perhaps all your motivation in your business or career comes from fear, stress, and anxiety, instead of purpose, passion, contribution, and excitement. - Perhaps you have bad mental habits such as multi-tasking. You’re never fully present and focused on one thing. Instead your brain is constantly jumping around, worrying about future tasks and the incomplete to-do-list. So now the entire day is spent feeling rushed and hurried. (Me to a T!) - Perhaps you’re a people pleaser and constantly breaking your own values, boundaries, and self respect to avoid having other people think badly of you. As a result you’re overworked and under-appreciated. You’re a dumping ground for other people’s crises and surplus work. (total people pleaser right here!!) - Perhaps the only way that you’ve learnt to influence and lead other people is through force and anger. So now you’re quick to anger because it gives you a feeling of control and certainty. But of course it’s highly stressful. And if you’re honest with yourself, you're also afraid of the damage you’re doing to those relationships whether it’s your kids or your employees. - Perhaps you’re a perfectionist and constantly asking yourself, “What else is wrong? What else isn’t good enough?” - in yourself, in your work, in what you’ve done or what you’re planning to do. So nothing you ever do feels good enough, tasks take 10x longer than they should and the entire process is filled with anxiety, fear and stress. (Yep me again!) - Perhaps you’re an over-analyzer and constantly asking yourself, “What if…?” questions. You agonize over decisions and you’re wracked by internal conflict. You constantly doubt yourself, second guess your decisions and never trust yourself or your opinion. So decisions are highly stressful, or you avoid decisions altogether. (getting better at this one) - Perhaps you’ve gotten into the habit of wishing moments of your life away. It starts small and seemingly insignificant. “When I get this stuff out the way then I can enjoy myself.” (been there!)
So you wait for this moment to be over, then the next moment, then the next moment. Before you know it you’re wishing your life away waiting for happiness and good feelings to magically show up! Hopefully by now you can see why everything you’ve tried in the past hasn’t fixed your stress and overwhelm. At best you’ve been putting band-aids over symptoms. At worst you’ve been seeking short-term distraction in destructive habits like binge eating, alcohol, social media, shopping, etc. Can we say COVID-19 online shopping and online drinking parties! Ultimately the answer is to learn how to regulate your emotional state from the INSIDE OUT instead of the OUTSIDE IN which is an extremely big topic that involves some in depth coaching by a pro! However, the first place to start is to stop blaming your environment or the people in your life for how you feel. - Your boss isn’t making you stressed, you’re doing stress. - Your job isn’t making you overwhelmed, you’re doing overwhelm. - Your kids aren’t driving you crazy, you’re doing anger. - Your partner isn’t making you feel worthless, you’re doing low self esteem. Of course there are environments that can encourage us in a particular direction, but the moment we blame
something or someone for how we feel is the moment we give all our power away. When you force yourself to take COMPLETE (not partial) ownership for how you feel, that decision alone will make a big difference. There may be more work to be done but most people notice an immediate difference when they stop waiting for life to make them less stressed.
Living your most fearless, confident, strong life takes time, patience, perseverance and guts to step inside yourself and discover what is the emotional root of your stress.