The real stress reliever

Unfortunately stress is a concept deeply ingrained in modern society, and it provides people with a quick and easy label to excuse a range of behaviours. We often fall back to the S word when in reality, we’re just a little tired, a little snappy, or we’ve taken on too many tasks and feel under pressure. Some people at the extreme end of the spectrum have even attributed committing murder to stress. Newsflash: It’s perfectly acceptable to be tired, snappy, or overloaded, and actually say out loud that you’re tired, snappy, or overloaded when someone asks you how you are. Don’t fall into the trap of saying you’re stressed. It’s a cop out.

By dumping every feeling, frustration and problem into a bucket and labelling it as stress rather than identifying what it actually is, we avoid finding a solution and assume that stress as a whole will just pass over time.

Tiredness can be cured by sleep. Being overloaded with too many tasks can be cured by delegating, or not taking on anything else until you’ve cleared your to-do list. Being snappy can be cured by removing yourself from situations that make you snappy!

How do you cure stress? While there are plenty of suggestions out there about how to de-stress, using stress as the focus still ignores the underlying feelings. Ultimately wouldn’t we prefer to solve the problems at hand and eliminate this notion of stress altogether? If I’m tired, I can get some sleep. But if I label my tiredness as stress then my first instinct won’t be to go to bed earlier. This causes the cycle to continue longer.

So if you feel like the S word is about to slip from your tongue when someone asks you how you are (or more likely ‘what’s wrong?’), think twice before you answer…

9 thoughts on “The real stress reliever

  1. You have hit the nail squarely on the head, Mike!

    Unfortunately, in the world of corporate America, being able to multitask is not only an asset but an actual prerequisite for getting the job in the first place. Especially for those folks at the lower end of the ladder where there is no one else to delegate tasks to. And in those situations where you say you just can’t take on any more, it goes in your file as a mark against you. And especially if the bosses know you are/were friends with the last person they fired. Believe me, the best thing my last employer did for me was when they laid me off. It gave me the perfect opportunity to consider early retirement and pursue other interests that I never had time for before that point.

    I still get snappy/cranky at times, but I haven’t used the word “stressed” for myself in ages. Getting away from situations that make me that way isn’t always possible; but I do try to at least take a deep breath at those times.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You make a good point, it’s not always easy to escape what we often consider “stressful” situations, but I’m glad to hear you haven’t used the word “stressed” for a while 🙂 Obviously it’s just my opinion but I think by looking at the specific problems (i.e. being overworked), and not labeling it simply as stress, then we’re on our way to figuring out how to change the situation for the better! And don’t worry, I still get snappy at times too, as Sel would attest to!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hey, we ALL get “snappy” at times, whether we admit to it or not. I share your opinion of addressing the specific problem. Because, if a problem is not addressed, it will keep popping up until it IS addressed and resolved.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post. We definitely overuse the phrase “I’m stressed” in today’s world. We may feel like it is the easy answer, but really it may be doing us more damage. You’re right, sleep can work wonders by getting an arly night once in a while so that we can refocus. At work we are now made to do more with less which may appear to be stressful on the surface but it really is just being overworked. Saying we’re stressed is definitely the easy option but does it really solve the problem?

    Liked by 1 person

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