Au­gust

Good Health Choices - - BE INFORMED -

Pull back the cov­ers on your stress

What is stress, re­ally? It is a word we use so eas­ily and often with­out much thought these days. Not that long ago in hu­man evo­lu­tion it would have meant that our life was threat­ened. Now we re­port feel­ing stressed about our to-do lists, email in­boxes and run­ning late. Stress can also re­fer to trauma and the af­ter-ef­fects of this can lead to a con­tin­ued stress re­sponse. Please note that I am not re­fer­ring to trauma here, but rather the ev­ery­day stresses that peo­ple de­scribe.

In my opin­ion, stress is the achiever’s word for fear. It’s just that it would sound quite odd to tell peo­ple that you are scared of your emails (although you may have joked about this at times!). Think about the last time you felt re­ally worked up on the in­side. You may not have shown this out­wardly to any­one, but you were stressed.

Con­sider it this way; ‘If stress is ac­tu­ally show­ing me some­thing that I’m fright­ened of, what might that be?’ What most peo­ple are scared of is what other peo­ple think of them.

Once you see the stress for what it re­ally, po­ten­tially is for you, you can de­cide if you stay in that workedup state or not, as now you can see the truth: you aren’t stressed, you are wor­ried about what some­one (or a group of peo­ple) thinks of you. With this in­sight, you can pause and think through what’s re­ally both­er­ing you about this sce­nario in­stead of fu­tilely re­peat­ing over and over again in your mind ‘I’m so stressed, I’m so stressed’. What are you wor­ried that they’ll think of you? How are you con­cerned that they will per­ceive you? Name the traits.

So next time you find your­self stress­ing out on the in­side, pause and ask your­self, in the same gen­tle way you would ap­proach a child: ‘If this is truly some­thing I’m fright­ened of, what might it be?’ You’ll see who you are try­ing to please and who you worry about when it comes to how they see you. And I hope in that mo­ment you see how fu­tile and un­nec­es­sary and, at times, dam­ag­ing this is.

You don’t have to act a cer­tain way for peo­ple to love and ap­pre­ci­ate you. You just need to be you — your authen­tic self. And with the truth of all this, you’ll find a new way to live – with far less ‘stress’ and all of the ben­e­fits in­side and out that that brings.

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