A look at the 50 Common Signs and Symptoms of Stress on the American Institute of Stress’ website shows just about every mental and physical symptom known to man it seems. Everything from headaches, to upset stomachs, to trouble learning new information. I thought that was just something that happened to all of us as we got older! Kidding aside, stress is something that affects us all, to varying degrees, and in a variety of ways. Whether it’s a big presentation that you’re not looking forward to, or financial strain, or relationship troubles, stress just seems to have that ability to creep up from anywhere.
There are many well-known remedies for stress that are out there. Things like, eating healthy, exercising, getting enough sleep, practicing mindfulness or meditation, etc. The thing is these work, but only to a degree. They may help with work-related stress or to bring the stress to a manageable level, but what about that stressful feeling or anxiety that just seems to linger. Like the sound of a mosquito, floating nearby. You know it’s there and can sense the pain it may cause, but it is often hard to quash it for good isn’t it.
So what do you do when you just can’t seem to shake those stressful feelings? When you’ve tried all the typical remedies mentioned above? For many of us, the answer can be to just avoid. Avoid that negative feeling at all costs. What does avoiding stress look like for you? For some, it can be drugs or alcohol. For others, it could be just working more or filling your life with activities to avoid having to think about what you’re trying to avoid. For many of us, it is social media and tv.
We all know that avoiding the problem isn’t the answer. It is just easier. It is easier to numb the pain with a few beers a night rather than dealing with your childhood or your ex-girlfriend, or your son or daughter who has gone astray. It is easier to watch Netflix for hours on end until you fall asleep only to repeat the tradition the next day.
So If avoiding it is not the answer than what can you do? The simple answer is to deal with it! Whatever that looks like to you. Whether that means talking to someone you know and trust in your life, about what’s been bothering you. Journaling about it. Seeing a counselor, or even a coach such as myself. The important thing is that you stop ignoring your stressful thoughts and actually think about them. Sit with them. Take some time out of your day to be still, or to have a real conversation. When is the last time you talked to someone and truly expressed how you felt? Not the typical response to “Hi, how are ya?” (I’m good thanks, how are you?).
I promise that when you are able to talk about your life’s issues with someone who genuinely cares for you and wants what’s best for you, be that a friend, counselor or coach, you will begin to feel the peace and joy that you so desperately desire.
If this is something that has you wondering what that next step may be like. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. A life of ultimate fulfillment and achievement is just around the corner.