It’s true that some stress is unavoidable — you will feel pressured at work, wake up late, have bills to pay and deal with professional and personal obligations.
But are the demands on your time really that unforgiving, or are you needlessly elevating your stress levels?
Not “every bit of stress we have is self-created,” says Susan Fletcher, a practicing psychologist, consultant and the author of “Working in the Smart Zone” and “Parenting in the Smart Zone,” in a recent interview with SUCCESS Magazine. “But every single person can make things harder than they need to be.”
Some people add stress into their lives by reading too much into things. Sometime a look is just a look. And a dirty mug left in the sink may just be a dirty mug, not a passive-aggressive statement in a domestic cold war.
Others may take on projects too large for one person to handle, yet insist on doing everything themselves, because they believe they are the only person suited to the task. “Another way people create stress is when they believe they are the only person who can do something, and they don’t involve or collaborate with other people,” says Fletcher. “Women do it at home a lot, and I believe both genders do it a lot at work.”
So how can self-stressors learn to stop creating their own anxiety? Fletcher offers the following tips:
Learn to trust. You have to give the people around you a little rope. If you always do every project yourself, the people you work with will never learn to pull their own weight. You have to trust them with pieces of the project. Failure is only another learning opportunity.
Set clear goals. You should know what you want. You should also know what you need to do to get what you want. If you lose focus, you may find yourself overwhelmed by the sheer number of things that need to be accomplished.
Choose an accountability partner. Find a friend or family member (albeit one who does not live with you) who will both listen to you and hold you accountable.