stress management

3 Ways to identify where stress is coming from in your life

high-performance coaching life coaching stress management wellness in the workplace Mar 22, 2022

Stress is the gap between our expectations and the reality that we perceive.

That gap creates fear, uncertainty, anxiety and our ego comes in to interpret this as dangerous and therefore the body goes into creating a stress response by releasing stress hormones.

There are 4 indicators we can use to assess our stress levels:

  •  Our Thoughts: Are they positive or negative?
  •  Our Feeling: Are they pleasant or unpleasant?
  •  Our Body: Do we feel tension and aches?
  •  Our Energy: Is it low or high or negative or positive?

We are so used to being stressed that our body has had to adapt to cope with this as a permanent state which means our nervous system is in survival mode most of the time. What now feels off is feeling relaxed and at peace ... some may say it is boring! I can say than because I was one of them. Ha!

How stress sequences work

According to The Process Communication Model® all human stress responses will unfold in these following stages.

  •  1st stage is we lose clear thinking
  •  2nd stage is we make interpretations of the situation – ie we tell ourselves stories about what we don’t know as fact. This can be highly unhelpful! 
  •  3rd stage is we feel negative feelings
  •  4th stage we make inappropriate choices or behaviours

 Where is stress coming from in your life?

Option 1  - You

We are responsible for controlling our emotional state. No one else can do that for us. This is often hard to accept, but the good news is that it means we have the power to change it! How stressed do you feel on a scale of 1-10? Where do you feel this in your body? Why do you think you are stressed?

Option 2  - Others

Look at the relationship between you and others in your close surroundings. They say we are highly influenced by the 5 people closest to us. How positive are those connections to your life?

We can’t control others, but we can control our exposure to them as we are going to be impacted by how we relate to others.  

Do you know what you are responsible for in relationship vs what isn't yours? All relationships are a co-creation between a minimum of two parties. 

Option 2  - Environment  

When do you feel more stressed? Is it in a team meeting? Is it 121 with your manager or a superior? Is it when networking? Is it at home? What can you do to change environment based on hat you need to achieve? 

Call To Action

Reflect on where your stress is coming from

Once you better understand the main source of your stress, whether it is your inner thoughts, others or your environment /situation, you can then start to focus your awareness and energy on that one dimension to try to find solutions. We can only change what we can control. There is a part we can influence of course, and something we have no control over. Accepting this can reduce stress in itself!

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