One Little Tip For Coping With Stress
A bit off topic, this. But.
Stress is a massive thing.
But it's sometimes dismissed a bit casually.
Partly because we all too often start comparing our own mental load with other peoples', either favourably or unfavourably.
For instance, 'What have they got to complain about? They've got it easy'.
Or the flipside, 'What's wrong with me? Everyone else seems to be doing just fine.'
The thing is, as the saying goes, everyone is fighting their own secret battles that you know nothing about.
I read a thing recently (I forget what), but the gist of it really struck a chord and it boiled down to this:
A lot of what causes us stress, really stems from our perceived lack of control.
It struck a chord so much that I made that there little graphic, above.
So when we have a lot on our plate.
Or not much time, to do a million things.
Or there are things that need doing, but we don't know where to begin, or how to get them done, or we're simply in new, unfamiliar environments.
Whatever the reason, we ultimately do not feel that we're in control of things.
And that's stressful.
You can have all the same things going on around you, but if you feel you're on top of them?
Not so stressful. Just, well, 'busy'.
I don't know about you, but personally, this one little thing has helped me re-evaluate how I look at a situation.
And reduce my stress a little.
Because it's not actually being in control that's important (which is impossible most of the time anyway), it's the feeling of being in control.
And there are things you can do about it.
You can make a to-do list of single tasks, for example.
Ones that are individually simple and straightforward to do.
So the Big Scary Task is broken down, and you feel like you're actually doing things towards it.
(While also not having to remember all the little things you need to do)
Let's say you have an important pitch, interview or meeting coming up.
You can research the subject to death, memorise absolutely everything you can about it if you want.
So at least you know that when the time comes, if there's anything you can't do or answer, you've done everything that you reasonably could have done.
These are fairly flippant examples, but the point is this:
Some things you simply have no control over.
Yes, you can plan for a lot of eventualities, and do what you can to anticipate them.
Other things? Completely out of your hands.
I've found that once I can identify those things, allow myself to take a step back and instead do the best I can with whatever the outcome is...
...then I make a conscious decision to not try to control them.
And my perception that I have no control diminishes.
And my stress diminishes.
Like I say, it's not a perfect solution. But it's helped me a little.
Maybe it will help you, too.