Stress… even the word can remind me of the times that I have suffered badly from it.
It is like a misbehaving TV set that turns down the volume to my reasonable voice. It also turns the contrast down until I find it difficult to see a way to resolve a situation. Stress is the feeling of anxiety when the stressor is no longer there. It’s like a channel I cannot change!
Stress can make me feel anxious, scared, and inadequate. It has led me to avoid certain situations in my life. It also has the uncanny knack of making small, minor, trivial, issues seem bigger than they actually are. My thoughts go everywhere apart from where they are meant to go, and at the end of the day, despite being exhausted with it, I am no closer to a resolution than I was when I woke up 15 hours earlier. The only difference is my body is tired, fatigued, tense and… stressed.
I find that going back to basics can really help:
I learned to do this with my Nightingale Counsellor. The strategy and breathing techniques I learned have really helped me. When I focus on my breathing, I am acknowledging that I am stressed, and I don’t want to be anymore. I can now recognise the pattern and try not to stress about stressing. Being able to recognise what is causing my stress has been hugely beneficial. It could be an outstanding bill, a relationship issues, pressure at work. They won’t go away by stressing about them or catastrophizing my thinking. I then focus on the things that are within my control.
Focus on your Circle of Influence
I focus on my circle of influence as opposed to my circle of concern, and I channel my energy there. I then take positive steps… I phone the company to arrange a payment plan, I talk to the person that I have the issue with, I speak to my boss or someone independent to my company.
I have also learnt to manage my stress as well as the things that I could find stressful. I had to learn to be more assertive and to ‘find my voice’ in situations. Previous experience told me that I needed to address issues rather than shying away from them. That is one thing I would advise people to do… deal with stress sooner rather than later. Make a plan and work through it in small manageable chunks. There is no other way!
If you need help managing stress, please get in contact with the Nightingale Counselling team today. Either use our Contact Page or call us on 0141 353 9373.