Stress has been a hot topic for years, and it’s not getting any better. People are even more stressed now and technology is making it worse. How many emails do you have to deal with each day? Do you get phone calls and emails wherever you are at any time of the day or night?
READ: Heads Together to improve mental health awareness, a campaign spearheaded by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.
When I wrote the book Stress – The Essential Guide, the thing that became most obvious to me was how most people don’t really help themselves. We have so many habits and idiosyncrasies, beliefs and obsessions that we often do things in a way that make life much more difficult for ourselves. So I included a paragraph called Are You Your Own Worst Enemy?
This is not meant to be harsh. If you have lost someone close to you, you or someone close to you is seriously ill, you’ve been through divorce, or lost your job you are more than likely to feel very stressed. But you do need to be good to yourself when this is happening. There are so many ways that we aggravate situations.
• You might be a perfectionist – always wanting everything to be just so.
• You may procrastinate – putting things off until they overwhelm you.
• You may have been brought up with very strong beliefs or prejudices which don’t serve you well and mean you cannot accept certain situations.
• Perhaps you are in denial and cannot face things, thereby making things worse for yourself.
• Or maybe you are proud and don’t like to tell people when things are going wrong.
• You might find it impossible to say no, even when you really don’t want to do something.
• And similarly you are always doing things for other people, when you have plenty on your plate already.
It’s not easy to change your personality without some serious work on yourself, and that’s where counselling can really help. Understanding why you do things is a great start to trying to stop them. Do you do things because you’re still trying to please your parents, even if they’re not even here any more?
There’s no doubt that it’s easier to make changes when you’re in the good times, but it’s likely that you are only faced with these problems when things are getting out of control. Stress is a feeling of being unable to cope with the pressure upon you, so it’s a good idea not to put pressure on yourself and stop being so hard on yourself.
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