If you have been unusually stressed out lately and not quite sure why, it may be do to nothing more than changes (good or bad) you are experiencing in life. Psychologists have learned that change, even small change, disrupts our daily patterns and level of comfort, often creating anxiety, tension, and the feeling of losing control — all things that result in STRESS.
We are creatures of habit and really do enjoy predictable life patterns that don’t throw us off our game. When we are forced to change our habits and thinking, we then have to react, figure out, and cope with the new situation we face — and this often results in stress. Changes in life — even good, positive changes — prompt us to recalibrate and develop new patterns of behavior which often result in experiencing stress.
Stability in life provides us consistency, predictability, and the confidence needed to handle each day. When we feel stable and in control of our lives we experience less stress, allowing us to channel our energies and direct our focus toward reaching future goals and winning daily battles in life. When we lose our sense of stability and are forced to deal with change, we are prompted to delve into our human resources and figure out how to adapt and succeed.
Changes in life also can take away the sense of control we have over our daily situations, and loss of control is another variable related to stress. More simply, the less control we feel we have, the more stress we typically experience. When we tie these ideas together we can then develop effective and healthy ways to manage stress, including:
- Keep in mind stress in unavoidable, and that everyone deals with stress. This means it is far more productive to work on healthy and effective coping skills rather than trying to avoid stress.
- If you feel particularly stressed out, be sure to include the good things going on in your life when trying to figure out why? Remember, eustress (good stress) can be just as taxing as distress (bad stress).
- One way to work on improving your stress level is to simply look for stability in your schedule (this provides an element of control). You might even need to take a day off work to simply “reload,” with the idea that you will regain control of your daily activities.
- Prepare for future changes by using stress inoculation — this is a great way to identify, prepare, and respond to stressors in life.
Get help for your stress level – check out Optimal Balance today!