Lindsay Holmes is the Senior Wellness Editor at the HuffPost. Holmes gives some great tips about how to handle stress and suggests the 3 most important questions to ask yourself when you’re stressed. They are:
1 – “Is this stress I’m feeling, mine or someone else’s?” This is a great place to start. There is a lot of pressure in our lives and sometimes it’s hard to know if we are stressed because of our own personal situations or if the stress is being ‘projected’ onto us from someone else. In our brain we have, what are called, mirror-neurons. This is when the brain connects with others around us and we find that when someone else is talking quickly or hyped up, we can begin to act the same way – or we mirror that. This is when our mirror neurons are hard at work. So it is with stress, when someone around us is stressed, we can have a tendency to pick up their stress instead of being aware as to whether it’s our own stress or theirs.
2 – “Am I able to help?” – Sometimes there’s nothing we can do to help. Someone else’s stress is sometimes someone else’s stress and there is nothing we can do to stop it. This is where it can get tricky. You may begin to ask yourself ‘what can I do?’, ‘should I be doing something to make it better?’ When you can identify if the stress is yours or someone else’s then you know what to do next. This is where the increase of self-awareness is vital for keeping stress levels under wrap. If the stress if not yours then you may need to have some strategies in place to help you cope. Things like going for a walk around the block can be helpful to remove yourself from the situation that is not yours to take on.
3 – “What boundaries do I need to establish?” – My personal experience coupled with hearing others’ stories, tells me that many people don’t take coffee or lunch breaks in the work place. Most employees aren’t paid for the hour lunch break and so I often tell people that ‘you are entitled to take it’. The work will still be there when you get back to the desk… but your pay check won’t be any higher because you worked through your lunch break. If you haven’t had these boundaries in place previously, it can be a challenge to begin to put them in place. It’s not impossible and the hard work will pay off in the long run.
Maybe you find these 3 questions to ask yourself when you’re stressed, helpful for your current situation. You can read the full article here and read directly what Holmes has to say.
If you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed, talking to someone outside of the situation can help. As a counsellor I can listen non-judgementally and help you move forward to decrease your stress levels – which in turn will help prevent burnout. Contact me today to make an appointment.