Did you know that many people are oblivious to their stress?
As I was doing a bit of research on stress for today’s blog post, I found out that burying your head in the sand is an often-used tactic when it comes to chronic stress. As people, we can experience stress physiologically, yet be mentally unaware of it because we’ve become so accustomed to it.
To be honest, it doesn’t surprise me. It’s a strategy I’ve used for a long time. Ignoring how miserable my work made me feel was the only way I could cope with it. If I would have admitted how bad it was, I knew I could’t go on – then I had to deal with it.
Still, it’s quite scary that so many of us ignore the signs our body is giving us. Stress has been called the silent killer as it compromises your immune system and can lead to heart disease, high blood pressure, chest pain and an irregular heartbeat. It can also cause anxiety, poor sleep, emotional eating, anger, premature aging, hair loss, acne, weight gain and many, many more things no one wants.
I’m not saying this to scare you, I just want to be honest and realistic about what stress can do to you.
There is good news though! Not all stress is bad: there is a type of stress, called eustress, that is actually good for you. Eustress fuels our successes and achievements. It motivates us to continue moving forward and experience actions or events that require effort, but ultimately help us to feel fulfilled and satisfied.
So don’t write stress off all together! Let’s just make sure that if you stress, you stress in a good way. Here are three things to stop stressing about, because they’re just not worth it.
1. What other people think of you
It’s natural to worry about other people’s opinion of us; most of us do at some point. Here’s the thing to remember: the good, bad and ugly that other people think of us is their stuff. Their views are based on, and coloured by, their own beliefs, perceptions and attitudes.
When picking on others, people frequently air the things they either dislike in themselves or secretly want more of. They reflect their own insecurities on others. For example, if someone is quick to jump to conclusions and isn’t happy with this character trait, they are likely to initially criticise your decisions as this is what they judge themselves on.
So leave other people’s opinions about you for what it is – their personal thing – and realise that what other people think of you, is none of your business.
2. Things you can’t control
As I mentioned on this week’s T.G.I.M. Show, you have to stop stressing about things you can’t control. It makes no sense at all to stress about things you have no control over, because quite obviously, there’s nothing you can do about them.
There are only two things you can control in life: your thinking and your behaviour. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less.
Contrary to what some people may think, you can’t control how other people perceive you, how well your relationship with your boss or colleagues is, how loving and caring your relationship with your other half is or how soon you’re going to get that promotion. Sure, you can influence these things, but you’d do that by controlling the controllables: your thinking and behaviour.
3. Whether you’re doing it right
With so many sources telling us how we should do things, it’s easy and completely understandable to worry whether you’re doing things right.
Someone may say you have to do X to achieve your dreams, if you don’t you sure as hell can forget about getting there.
At the same time, someone else may tell you that you must do Y to get where you want to be. If you don’t do this, doomsday is here.
Whilst there may be something of value in their words, it’s based on their biased view of this world. That doesn’t mean they’re wrong, just don’t blindly accept what other people tell you.
You have to develop your own way of doing things. I would say it’s wise to learn from other people, but then again – that’s my view. In the end it’s fully up to you. It’s your life, your game, so create your own rules.
Obviously this list is not exclusive! Whatever it is that you decide to strop stressing about, the end goal remains the same: to make stress a powerful driving force, not an obstacle.
I’d love to hear from you – what things will you decide to stop worrying or stressing about this year? Leave your comment in the section below.
P.S. If you liked this post, why not check out the yoga & coaching retreat (or any of my other live events) I’m hosting in May. Retreat yourself to three empowering & insightful days to help you create and achieve your dreams and ambitions.