Want to Drastically Change the Quality of Your Life? Name Your Stress.
Stress is a sneaky bugger. Like an invisible gas, stress creeps into our systems and slowly disassembles our life. We have no idea how much we absorb. Furthermore, we are unconscious about how much we manifest.
According to the Mayo Clinic, being able to recognize common symptoms of stress can give you a jump on managing them.
While it’s necessary to understand the physical effects of stress, it’s also equally important to understand what is stressing us out. In other words, bring your anxieties and inconveniences out in the open for investigation instead of shoving down or ignoring their causes.
That is to say, not dealing with stress can result in more stress.
In this episode, I get personal about my own stressors and why, lately, I am actually feeling clear and calm. Also, I share the effects stress has had on my body and overall wellbeing, i.e. weight gain, irritability, etc. To illustrate my point I share how I recently examined what makes me anxious, worried, nervous and jerky.
On the positive side, talking about stress has been liberating—which is why I want to share my process with you. Naming exactly what makes you stressed (really naming by the way, not just giving lip service to yourself) offers you the key to feeling less stressed.
Naming stress is the first step to lightening up
If you want to drastically change the quality of your life you need to be honest.
Firstly, let’s agree that we all carry stress—some of us more than others. The truth is that it’s nearly impossible to be in this world without carrying some low-level anxiety.
Secondly, be willing to expose everything (really, every single situation or person giving you grief). In other words, we need to be curious enough about our wellbeing to get down to the nitty gritty stuff we’ve been avoiding.
It’s important to realize that if you don’t get real with yourself, it’s much harder to change. To begin, plan on putting pen to paper for at least 15 minutes. Create a list of the big (and small) people and situations that make you anxious, sick to your stomach or simply irritable.
Try this exercise to begin.
I am stressed about __________________ in the following ways. Use the prompts below. Go through the list one by one. Answer all that is applicable in your life. And, don’t forget to buckle up. You may uncover big, uncomfortable and/or heavy stuff.
- Work (or lack thereof)
- Partner (or lack thereof)
- Children (or lack thereof)
- Hobbies (or lack thereof)
Naming your stressors is the first step to improving your health and lightening your attitude. Once your stress triggers are out in the open, you will be able to see them more clearly. In other words, naming your stress gives you space.
Don’t ignore your stress any longer. If you want to drastically change the quality of your life you must name what stands in your way.
Naming my stress has liberated me in many ways. I feel lighter and brighter and ready to face the stress triggers that remain in my life. And trust me, there’s still more left for me to deal with.
How about you? Let me know what you find.
Previous Episode: #84: Be Free. Get Out of Your Own Way
The Guest House by Rumi
(oops I got the source wrong in the episode. It’s not Kahil Gibran, it’s the great Rumi)
Don’t have my book On The Verge: Wake up, Show up, and Shine? Order it here