How to Stress Yourself Out

Sometimes we do things to ourselves.

Are you adding extra (and unnecessary) stress to your life in the following ways?

  1. Ignoring your strengths (or refusing to recognize them) and focusing on your failures. If you are ignoring your strengths, you are turning away from the good things you have to offer the world! If you focus on your weakness and failures without seeing your strengths you will not feel as motivated to work through and rise above your setbacks. This adds stress with constant feelings of hopelessness and discouragement. 
  2. Multi-tasking. When you multi-task you burn yourself out, feel overwhelmed and make slower progress. You'll often feel bad you did not give your child/spouse/friend/co-worker your full attention (e.g. when they were telling you something important to them). You’ll regret that project you did not do your best on because you were too busy trying to “maximize” your time, when in actuality you were not maximizing it at all. Multi-tasking, more times than not, adds more stress and chaos to our lives by forcing us to try and split our attention between multiple things. We excel when we focus on one thing at a time.
  3. Not making sleep a priority (i.e. get less than the recommended 7 hours/night). Lack of sleep makes it difficult to reason and problem solve. It slows down your thinking, making you less efficient at performing and completing tasks. It also leads to poor judgement and slow reaction times (think of driving). Sleep deprivation affects your physical and mental health.
  4. Not taking care of yourself physically. Don’t exercise? Don’t drink water or eat highly processed refined foods? Do you avoid whole grains, fruits and vegetables like they are the plague? Not taking care of yourself physically means an increased risk of high blood pressure, obesity, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and/or possibly cancer. There is nothing like an expensive, long-term illness to increase your stress levels. Poor health is stressful itself, but add on to that the financial strain of poor health and you’ve got the perfect storm for stress.
  5. Not establishing and maintaining boundaries. Do you accept any project or task given to you? Do you refuse to tell anyone, “No.”? Do you follow the old adage and “…bite off more than you can chew”? While this will often be overwhelming and add more to your load and stress, it may make you feel needed which can be why you are prone to it. Boundaries are there to help us – setting and maintaining them helps reduce stress and builds self-confidence in ourselves. 

Regain control over your level of stress and avoid unnecessary stress in your life by flipping these habits around!

  • Identify and remember your strengths.
  • Stop multi-tasking.
  • Increase your sleep.
  • Exercise (e.g. start by walking for 10 minutes) and eat well.
  • Set boundaries for yourself and those in your life.

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