“Stress is perceived in the mind, suffered in the human spirit, experienced via the emotions, expressed in behavior, and held in the body.” - Anonymous
There are so many reasons why people get stressed.
Surprisingly, most are self-inflicted.
Here are twelve:
1. Uncertainty. Sometimes we don’t know what we want, and that leads to confusion and indecision. There are also times when we are not sure of what will happen, thus anxiety. This feeling of loss of control is one of the primary causes of stress.
Simple Stress-reduction Strategy (SSS): Make time to examine your life. Know your passions and discover your life’s purpose, then do it. Have an eternal perspective. Have realization and faith that all these, whether good or bad, shall pass away.
Building your foundation on what is certain minimizes, and in the long run, eradicates, worries. God's promises in the Bible are certain things you can invest your trust in. You can enjoy peace in your heart when you know that your future is held by He who knows your future and is able to follow through on what He says.
2. Disorganization. Having a plan not only increases the probability of success but also decreases the amount of stress we may experience. It’s not only about schedules, but also about physical clutter. An organized home or work space spells the difference between tranquillity and exhaustion.
SSS: Simplify, simplify, simplify. It’s better to simplify than to organize.
3. Unhealthy lifestyle. This doesn’t only mean drinking too much alcohol, using illegal drugs, and smoking. This also means having a sedentary lifestyle, chronic lack of sleep or exercise, and unmindful eating.
SSS: This one’s obvious. Stop all bad habits and start doing all the good ones. Be disciplined. Turn off the TV. If we eat healthy, exercise regularly, and get adequate rest and sleep, we will be able to cope with stress should it occur.
4. Poor financial management. Financial concerns are the one of the best stressors in today’s materialistic culture. Feelings of envy, guilt, inadequacy, and self-pity give tremendous stress psychologically. Also, not handling finances wisely leads to deep debt, and is a major cause of stress especially when your debtors begin to hunt you.
SSS: Realize that material things won’t make you truly happy and they are at best temporary. Live a simple life. Stop comparing yourself to others. Be thankful and learn to appreciate what you have. Focus more on your relationships with people. We won’t bring any material thing to the other side when we die.
Enjoy the experience, not the material things that go with it. Be grateful that you can enjoy a cup of instant coffee at home with loved ones instead of going to a coffee shop alone and $25 to lose.
5. Difficult relationships. Examples of this are when one person attempts to control or manipulate another, or when someone places a high expectation on the other. There are lots of “negative” people around us that having them in our lives becomes a burden rather than a blessing.
SSS: Don’t engage in their negativity. Be honest and tell the “negative” person how you feel, but at the same time be courteous. If all else fails, you always have the choice to drop them out of your life. A little cruel, but it’s better than die slowly because of too much stress.
6. Not saying “No.” We all have the tendency to say “Yes” all the time because we don’t want to make any one disappointed. But doing this leads to too much stress and burnout.
SSS: Know your limitations. Be open and honest. If they won’t understand then it’s their problem, not yours. You’ll be surprised that most people are more sensible and understanding than you might think.
When you know your purpose and priorities (as stated in SSS1) it's easier to identify the things you have to say “yes” or “no” to.
7. Expecting too much on something or someone. Stress can also be felt by the one who is expecting, not only by the one who is expected upon. The more we expect on others, the more we open ourselves up for stress and disappointment.
SSS: Don’t expect on people. What you believe or what works for you may not be the same as that for others. Welcome variety. See the glass as already broken. Expect more on God and put your trust in Him.
8. Engaging in unnecessary conflicts. Some people always see the negative side of everything. They put stress not only on the people around them, but most especially on themselves. They oppose something just for the sake of opposing, so that they may appear more intelligent than what they actually are.
SSS: Don’t be too argumentative. Discover win-win situations and look for the good in others. Avoid giving too much criticism. Listen more. When you seldom speak, your opinions will matter and you will look wiser.
However, when you do need to speak, think before doing so. Sometimes we do get ahead of ourselves and talk our hearts out. Consider the long term effects of what you will say to the people you're talking to and to yourself, even.
9. Inability to accept things as they are. We are not in control of everything, we are not God.
SSS: Recognize things that are out of your control and accept them as they are. Concentrate on those that you do have control over. Learn to have full trust in God. As for people, appreciate them the way they are. Nobody’s perfect. God designed each one of us this way for a reason.
10. Ignoring rest and relaxation. Being always busy keeps your body in a heightened state and won’t give it a chance to recuperate. Failing to take a time out will reduce your effectiveness on what you’re doing in the long run.
SSS: Learn to be still and do nothing. Have enough sleep. Find ways to have a good and fun time without spending too much.
11. Technology. Too many emails. Too much time on the Internet, or on the playing console. Too many cell phones that emit radiation. Too much time in front of the TV. All these contribute to our stress. Technology makes us do so much and keeps us busy so we end up feeling overwhelmed, never finished, and unfulfilled.
SSS: Have a digital sabbatical. Go without Internet, computer gaming, cell phones, and TV for 24 hours. Don’t waste your life away being in the virtual world.
If technology can be used positively, then it can be used negatively as well. Choose materials to read, watch, and learn wisely. Remember, garbage-in-garbage-out.
12. Change. Major changes in life leads to stress. Examples are getting married, having a child, changing your job, moving to a new house, having a critical illness, or being involved in a fatal accident.
SSS: Accept changes as an opportunity and a challenge. Focus on the positive side of things, and welcome the new beginning. Make change as something to look forward to rather than being afraid. See these changes as things to build your character and to learn new things from. Example, you can't really say you have patience when there is no opportunity to exercise patience.
These are just twelve reasons. What stresses are you experiencing right now and how did you beat them? Share them in the comments!