Do you know what part of life is most common to generate stress? In the online survey I recently had going I found the answer. What would you have guessed? Work? Family? Money?
I had 6 alternatives to choose from, Work Related, Health Issues, Financial, Family Related, Other Relationships and Other. I asked the participants to rank them.
The answer is that all 21 persons who answered this question had different ranks BUT when you add them all up they were all even. None of the reasons for stress is sticking its head out. I tried to figure out what this tells us.
Well, I can tell that all parts of life can cause stress and I can also tell that in stress management it is not one-size-fits-all because the causes are so different.
Daily I get questions about stress. Why am I feeling like this? What can I do about that? I feel my heart beat – is that dangerous? How can I get out of this stressful situation? What would you do, Dr Annika? What is stress – really? And it goes on like this………
Of course I don’t have the answers to ALL these questions. But some I can answer or reflect around and help the person feel a bit relieved. Some of the questions only the person who asks has the answer to. What I can do is to guide them towards their own answer, which is what coaching is all about.
How many times in a day do you use an internet connected device? That is a very hard question to answer – since most of us use them all the time. They are at our side around the clock, whether we work or not. We don’t use them X amount of time, they have become part of us.
So what? Is that a problem? Yes and no!
The other day I was asked, in a Facebook comment, how to avoid disturbed sleep when caused by overload. At first I was going to answer – “by looking over your sleeping habits” – but no, that is starting in the wrong end. That is treating a symptom but the “disease” is still there.
You have to start by looking at what is bugging you, what is stressing you out, right!? And to do that you need to look at the big picture.
Do you remember what metaphor I use for looking at your whole situation? I suggest you take a virtual helicopter ride over your life. You can fly around yourself and you can go down and hoover over specific areas where you see specific challenges. It can give you a good picture of the whole situation. This is what I do with all my private clients and it is just as thought-provoking every time. What will show up? Often issues that the client did not predict.
This is going to make some of you laugh out loud. That is what I did when I realized this. You know, I had a belief about something and I didn’t feel I had the time to look into it. Everyone else talked good about it so I reckon it is a good thing. But I thought it was out of my reach – and this has been going on my whole adult life. Because I heard about this all the way back when the Beatles did this. But it all seemed so oriental and so hard.
Until a month ago.
Last Sunday we hosted our yearly Waffles Party. Yes, you heard me right – our yearly Waffles Party. It is a party to which we invite all our friends, relatives and closer work associates and we serve waffles with jam and whipped cream – that’s all – except coffee and tea too of course.
Around 60 guests found this a good idea and they came to the party. Most people ate 3 waffles each and with some simple math that adds up to around 180 waffles. That is an enormous amount of waffles! Waffles are baked in a special machine. They take each about 4 minutes to bake and we had 5 machines. Basic mathematics count to 15 waffles an hour in one machine – 5 machines make 75 waffles an hour. If you are superefficient! And you are not …….. no-one can be superefficient for so long in such a stressful situation. So, how is this possible to manage in a couple of hours on a Sunday afternoon – and survive without getting totally stressed out?
The super-power word is PLANNING!
End of January! Lots of expectations for the upcoming year. But also getting caught up with reality. Have I started off as I wanted? Will my business reach the goals? Why haven’t we heard from that client that seemed so interested? How will my economy turn out? It was supposed to be easier for each year in business – not harder!
Also in private life the questions start to stack. Will my kids succeed in school or will they be bullied? Will the older kids get any jobs and will my marriage last? Why does it seem like everyone else are so happy?
The questions in everyday life are endless. You want to scream:
Halfway into January and with New Year Celebrations behind us, we have the rest of our life laying at our feet. And most of our New Year Resolutions are forgotten – or?
In most cases that is a fact!
We generally feel the euphoria of a new year – we see new possibilities – set new goals – make all kinds of promises – but then all of a sudden our daily life hits us and we are back in our old rat race. This is the life we know and it is easier to stay there than to do the changes.
Does it have to be like this?
But why is it that it always happens? What is this all about? It is about your standards in life. You do your chosen rituals in life every day and you continue to do them the same way until you find a reason to change.
It works like this! You first have to have a VISION – where do you really want to be – what do you really want to become? Then you have to have good reasons why you want that. You have to feel those reasons in your heart. You have to review and feel them every day!
It is funny, isn’t it, that every New Year we want to make a new start. As if there is a start and end in the middle of life rather than life being just an ongoing process. Well, we humans need milestones in life to focus our story around and a new year is as good as any time for that purpose. I had been doing the same until I discovered that it didn’t matter when you make your promises to yourself – as long as you do what you promised. And I find it is easier to keep the promises if I make them in a context connected to the issue rather than to a fixed date.
The other day I heard about a study on longevity. It was based on the fact that more and more people are reaching the age of 100 years in Sweden and I found that interesting at a time when we are makeing resolutions for our own positive changes.
People often talk about, almost brag about, how much they have on their to-do list. It has for a long time been high status in being busy – as if the one with the most full agenda wins. And many also claim that they can’t get sick from their long list because they just doing fun things.
They claim to have positive stress.
They are wrong! It is as simple as that.
There is no such thing as Positive and Negative stress. The reactions to our bodies are the same whatever the reason. Continue reading