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Personal Development
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3 min read

Are you creating your own stress?

Liz Makin
· Dec 2, 2022
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Stress is the state that you experience when you perceive that you cannot adequately cope with the demands being made on you. You feel under pressure and don't have the physical and mental reserves to cope. 

There are many causes of stress ranging from a series of minor irritations to major upheavals. When looking for the cause of stress people usually look to outside factors, however, often you will find that you are creating your own stress. 

Here are some examples of when you may be creating your own stress and what you can do differently to reduce stress:

Focusing on what is outside your control. You can easily get stressed by focusing on things that are outside your control. Understand what is within and outside your control and stay focused on the things that you can control, to feel less stressed. 

Putting pressure on yourself. How often do you create stress by putting pressure on yourself such as setting unrealistic deadlines, taking on too much or by being a perfectionist? Consider what pressures you are putting on yourself and change things to reduce stress.

How you think. Stress can arise because of how you think about things. Step back and understand the way you are thinking and where your thinking is unhelpful look at how you can think differently to reduce stress.

The behaviour of others. Stress can arise because of how you react to the behaviour of others and making assumptions about how others are thinking or feeling. Accept that you cannot control the behaviour of others, but you can change your reaction to them, to feel less stressed. Also don't make assumptions, check the facts and talk to them to understand their perspective.

Having no choices and options. It is easy to feel stressed because you feel that you have no options or choices. Remember that you always have choices and options, to feel less stressed. 

Thinking about the past. Thinking about the past can create stress as you may worry about what you did or what you should have done. Accept that you cannot change the past, see the past as learning and focus on now and the future to reduce stress.

Predicting the future. How often do you get stressed as a result of your mind creating scenarios of what might or might not happen in the future? Stop thinking through what might or might not happen and focus on the now, making things happen and taking action to feel less stressed.

Dealing with change and the unexpected. Stress can be caused by how you react to change and unexpected events. Change and the unexpected are part of life. Accept that change and unexpected events happen, re-plan as a result and adapt accordingly to reduce stress. 

Are you creating your own stress and, if so, what do you need to do to feel less stressed?

How to find out more

If you would like to find out more about stress management, look for our stress management courses on Learn Formula or CPD Formula, which include lots of tips and strategies for reducing and managing stress.

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