Since I have been working with many clients for their increased stress levels in their life, I have discovered a strong relation between our mindset, attitude and habits with the accumulation of stress.
I strongly feel I should share my research outcomes with you which can help you making a shift in your life as well.
Today, we live in a materialistic world where self worth is often quantified by material accumulations, performance and powerful positions. Additionally, the current lifestyle of dependence on technology has moved everything at a faster pace than ever, which has forced undue expectations on people. There is false sense of urgency in the environment which is driving people to more stress and low productivity. Low performance in different aspects of life in turns increase stressful feelings which can create multiple psychological and physical health issues in people such as blood pressure, heart stroke, diabetes, anxiety and depression.
BUT, NOT ALL STRESS IS BAD
Stress can be helpful at times to prepare for a challenging situations such as a job interview, stage performance or an important exam. It can even protect you from danger by preparing our body to face a threat or flee to safety. As there is shooting up of adrenaline in the body, your pulse quickens, you breathe faster, your muscles tense, your brain uses more oxygen and increases activity—all functions aimed at survival.
Let’s look at our lives with a new perspective and figure out how much stress is Self-Inflicted stress.
1. Wrong Self Identifications
When you ask someone about their introduction, he would say “I am John and I am a Lawyer”. This sentence has a problem as it is letting John, subconsciously start to identify himself as Lawyer first and other things later. See, every moment of your life, your mind is your treasure and it is only thing that can make you happy and peaceful or get you a nervous breakdown.
When you start to identify yourself as doctors, engineers, lawyers, carpenters or any other titles, you basically embrace it so deeply that you really don’t know where to disengage. This all happens at the subconscious level as your subconscious mind observes and stores the information but unlike conscious mind, it really can’t do the reasoning.
When you start to look yourself as a human being who is more than a CEO, an entrepreneur or a salesman, you start to create a space for unwinding from that role and to get into another role which is less serious, more playful and your natural self. The simple understanding of the truth that we are not our titles or labels, but are only playing those roles to create the professional and financial life we desire. When you learn to disengage and come back to your “human self”, you tend you create much more meaningful moments for yourself and others around you which obviously makes you more happy.
2. Being Over Competitive
We have grown up with belief system of being able to excel among others and prove our capability. To some extent, it has helped some people to grow their status, positions or ranking in their life but mostly it has added stress. Now, when we are competing with each other, we are treating life as a race, where as it’s a very individual journey of our own set of experiences. Everyone has his or her own life story and circumstances which makes them take certain decisions related to their life and career choices.
You might want to outperform in your sales quota this month or you want to be the best cook in the world, is all possible but with it’s own unique style. You can’t sell better than others if you don’t have unique style of selling and you can’t be the best chef without your own flavor of cooking.
Anything that you desire to be best at is only happening when you unleash your hidden talent and relentlessly work towards improving yourself rather than competing with the world. This helps in creating a self image which is internally driven and stable. Your competition is with yourself which makes you less worrisome and more productive.
3. Imbalance in personal and professional life
So most of the time, your wife, children or other family members usually eat evening dinner by themselves since they know you are not going to make it and they have pretty much adjusted with your being absent and they are also kind used of your leaving the most important decisions regarding your children or house stuff to the spouse or others. Is this resonating with your current life situation? if yes, then it clearly depicts an imbalance in your personal and professional life.
We all have ambitions and we are willing to stretch ourselves to make our dream a reality but if you are missing most of the cherished moments with your loved ones, then it’s like building a dream world in which only you would reside.
Creating a healthy balance between your professional and personal expectations is really important. Before dying, the Apple CEO, Steve Jobs spent his final days surrounded by close family members, and used his last interview to explain to his wife and children why he “wasn’t always there for them,” Now, imagine the man who created this huge empire of Apple products and changed the way we communicate entirely, was only concerned about what his children think of him and he wanted to explain to them about his absence and the reasons behind it.
Good thing is you don’t have to reach such a stage to realize the importance of your loved ones. As you manage personal engagements more efficiently, you create much stronger bonds with your spouse, your children and close friends, which gives you a sense of security, happiness and a space to share deep love. You gain more respect inside your home and outside in the professional world, which makes your self esteem rise up. Additionally, this helps you UNWINDING from your professional roles and makes you life much stress free and joyful.
4. Time Management
Are you feeling overwhelmed by tons of activities in a to-do list and you don’t really know how to accomplish them as they keep on growing every two hours? It’s a situation many people go through on a daily basis and it seems too stressful to handle at times.
The reason to this is the clarity on importance of activities and not assigning timelines to complete these activities. You can avoid these self-inflicted stressors by just being more proactive and utilizing the power of organizing things in order of priority.
After prioritization, you need to set up a certain timeline for the result and make sure you complete the task before leaving it in between. Don’t look for easier tasks to be done first but in fact chose the one which will give you optimal results and will move you ahead towards your goal.
There is a great deal of science behind the chemistry of the brain and the completion of tasks, which tells us that the brain releases endorphins (feel good hormones) as it registers the accomplishment made by you, which makes you more energetic and happy. A happy mind will bring more abundance in your life by accomplishing even more and more and obviously which will make it more powerful and efficient.
5. Are you in love with what you do? Are you feeling fulfilled?
I personally struggled with this question for almost a decade in my life, until i was serious about getting to know the real truth. I was doing well at my 9-5 corporate job but deep inside I never felt fulfilled.
You might have heard many times about having passion for your work or creating a dream career where the love for the work keeps you going on and on tirelessly. This is truly possible when you give your imaginations, your ideas and your vision a chance to manifest.
Unless, you really do what you heart desires, you can’t be truly happy and would live a stressful professional life as your energy is not a hundred percent towards your work and everything extra seems like an added pressure on your shoulder. Since, you can’t feel it in your heart, you can’t visualize your destiny which leads to unfullment.
Sometimes, you have to leave fears and ask yourself “Is this really the work/job/career I want to be associated with?” “Is this the deep calling of my life where i can make my impact in the world?” “Is this really what i want to be remembered for?” If the answer to these questions is NO, then do yourself a favor and start to follow your heart and give yourself a chance as you deserve to be exploding the potential that you are born with. It might seem difficult to make shift in your current career due to financial dependence, but it’s not impossible. “WHERE THERE IS A WILL, THERE IS A WAY”
Conclusion: Our mindset and attitude are crucial elements for a healthy, stable and stress free life. The more open we are to learn new beliefs and leave the usual old ordinary ones behind, the more we become in tune with the Universe’s energy. Stress is a waste of that same divine energy which is thriving inside of us and which guides us for an uplifted powerful life. If you will introspect on the above said points, you will surely get some insights about your inner world and will figure out the next steps you need to take.