Stress is a side effect of life, but for some, it’s also an excuse. You may not realize it, but you might be purposefully stressing yourself out. The guide below will help you identify this pattern and put a stop to it, so you can enjoy better mental health across the board.
You Don’t Want to Stop Because You Don’t Want to Feel
This is the biggest reason why people search for stress. They overextend their schedules, stay up late at night, and find reasons to stay stressed because they want the distraction. Stopping for a personal day or some unassigned free time may bring up a slew of suppressed emotions.
It’s important to make time to process emotions. Not facing them won’t make them go away. It will only lead to more stress and more emotional discomfort later on. When is the last time you had a day all to yourself, with nothing on the schedule? If you can’t remember, it’s time to plan for one.
You ‘Thrive under Pressure’
Some people purposefully get stressed because they think it enhances performance. These are the persistent procrastinators who wait until the last minute to accomplish tasks. Sure, you may be able to ‘thrive’ in these conditions, but eventually, the practice will catch up with you. The adrenaline that comes with the stress will be offset by a disappointment – something that doesn’t go in your favor. It’s a far better idea to plan out your productivity.
You Feel Valued When You Feel Needed
Perhaps you feel the need to say “yes” to every opportunity because that makes you feel needed. For example, parents often feel valued while raising children. Once their children leave the house, they may clutter their schedules in order to feel needed again. While it is good to help others, you always need to be aware of your limits.
You Use Stress to Justify Emotions and Decisions
This sounds harsh, but some people like having a reason to be emotional or make poor decisions. “Sorry I overreacted last night. I have just been so stressed out lately.” If you find yourself using stress as a justification, think about what you can do to cut down on your stress. Reduce your commitments, take some personal time, and get on the path to better decisions.
How to Stop the Cycle – Stress Management That Works
No matter why you’re stressed out, you don’t have to stay stressed forever. There are plenty of ways to reduce stress and anxiety in your life. Start by analyzing your schedule and identifying your top priorities. Cut back on tasks that do not add value to your life, and take time to do nothing. Absolutely nothing. Think. Feel. Rest. Feel some more. Break the stress cycle and regain control of your life.
To get personalized stress management tips, consider working with a therapist. At Sherman Counseling, we have several therapists in Wisconsin who specialize in stress management and work/life balance. Contact the office nearest to you to schedule an appointment.