Many people complain about the stress that they feel, and it is absolutely true that we are constantly faced with many internal and external stressors. Taxes, traffic, illness, and unexpected accidents are unfortunate realities of the human condition that we simply have to live with. Others, though, are things that we can control and conquer.
When clients first come to coaching and present an issue to work on, we explore whether the issue is something that they can control. If the issue is something they have little or no control over, we work on effective cognitive techniques that help to manage the stress and perception of the situation.
Many times, however, careful exploration leads the client to realize that they have actually been engaging in behaviors that contribute to or even encourage drama and stress. Today, we will focus on those behaviors and their negative effects.
Four Behaviors That May Contribute to Stress
1: Social media! I doubt that it is a surprise to anyone reading this that social media activity is number one. With that being said, simply being on social media isn’t necessarily a major stressor. Rather, I’d like you to take a look at the ways in which your behavior on those platforms can become problematic.
First of all, avoid getting sucked into provocative posts. Many of these are political in nature. Others involve religion, sports, or current issues in the news. If you want to see this phenomenon in all its glory, take a look at any local or national news outlet comment section. A seemingly innocent post can blow up because one person makes a remark that sparks fury and outrage. Many times these are trolls who just post for the sake of provoking others. Take an inventory of how you react. Do you angrily post a comment or do you remove yourself from the drama entirely? How much are you allowing yourself to feed into the negativity? How do you feel after reading or posting? Are you angry or outraged? Feel your heart racing?
If you find yourself feeling stressed, consider not posting or even reading about controversial subjects. You always have the ability to block or not subscribe to people or groups that you find to be upsetting.
Ask yourself “What is my part in this?” If someone disagrees with me, am I going to post a response in anger? Not everyone agrees with everyone. Is engaging in a Twitter or Facebook fight lifting you up or bringing you down? How is this serving others? Helping yourself? Ask yourself those questions.
2: Gossip. Just don’t do it. In both the short and long run, it’s hurtful to both you and those around you. Absolutely nothing positive can come from it. Stop already.
3: Inconsiderate behaviors. Think about how you might invite stress or hurt others by engaging in inconsiderate behaviors. Are you judgmental? Do you monopolize conversations, belittle those around you, or demand the focus to be on you?
How often are you late, causing others to wait alone at a table because you decided a phone call or doing one more errand was more important than honoring an agreement with a friend?
5-Look at the friends and social groups you associate with. Are they kind and generous? Or are they mean spirited and judgmental? Are your people there to not only celebrate with you, but also when you need support and help? Is your friend group emotionally draining or are they helping you to be loving and positive?
Above all else, a friendship should be something that lifts you up, not tears you down. It’s easy to ignore the red flags of a potentially toxic or draining relationship until you’re already feeling a plethora of negative effects.
These are pretty simple ways to begin to look at the stress and drama in your life and begin to make some adjustments. Within these 4 steps are deeper motivations that bear exploration as well. If you seem to always be in the midst of drama and can’t figure out why, let’s look at it together. Contact Arlene at www.schneidercoachinggroup.com. I’ll be happy to help you learn how to live a life of peace and happiness.