You may have noticed the heavy, overpowering feeling of stress in the air lately (if you haven’t – awesome, keep doing what you’re doing!)
With the world currently grinding to a halt and many uncertainties and changes occurring all around us… no wonder stress levels are rising at an alarming rate.
So how are you coping?
Do you find it hard to deal with stress?
Are you aware of what causes you stress in the first place?
To help people get through these tough times with less arguments and stress I’ll be posting some free and helpful tips regularly for those wanting to make the most of their time at home and learn something useful along the way.
This is tip #2 >> Learn what triggers your stress and how to handle it.
The first step here is about discovery (in order to deal with our stress, first we need to understand what exactly is causing it).
So what triggers your stress?
Is there a certain person who always brings out the worst in you?
Certain words that cause you to lose it?
Or maybe in tense situations you find it hard not to get wound up in the moment and let your stress take over your reactions as if you have no choice?
If someone was to call you right now and tell you that your company has been declared bankrupt and you are out of a job… how would you react?
Understandably, I’m guessing it wouldn’t be great.
For a lot of people right now sadly, that scenario is their reality.
Because of this, it’s important to realise that although we can’t control everything (we can’t really control anything outside of us to be honest), the only thing we have some control over is how we react.
What if you were able to choose your reactions in stressful situations and take back some control of your thoughts and feelings?
Although at times this idea might seem impossible, I promise you it’s not.
It just takes some practice, and through knowing your stress triggers and becoming aware of your reactions, it can even become easy.
A key step to handling stress is to notice the situations and people that frustrate you, and begin to monitor your reactions.
- If someone you dislike makes a joke at your expense, how would you react?
- If someone cancels plans at the last minute, how would you react?
- If you found out someone had lied to you, how would you react?
- If you are confronted by someone who made you feel uncomfortable, how would you react?
To some people, all of these situations could be stressful. To others, maybe just one or two.
A lot of what causes you stress comes down to the unique way in which you communicate with those around you.
Your communication style (your DOTS).
Someone with a Purple communication style is more likely to find the following triggers stressful:
- Sacrificing themselves in order to be liked,
- Constantly searching for what’s missing in their life, without staying still long enough to find it,
- Relying on others to finish projects that they’ve started.
Whereas, someone with a Yellow communication style is far more likely to find these triggers stressful:
- Covering up anger and frustration to create the ‘right’ impression,
- Being impatient with less organised minds,
- Wanting things to be perfect.
Someone with more of a Red communication style will most likely find these triggers stressful:
- Needing to dominate and take control of situations (particularly when they can’t),
- Having difficulty dealing with emotions,
- Forcing others to conform to their standards of behaviour.
But a person with a Blue communication style will find these triggers more stressful than most:
- Playing the blind follower and going with the crowd even when it doesn’t feel right,
- Needing constant reassurance form others,
- Trying to avoid confrontation.
Therefore, an important step in dealing with unwanted stress is noticing that not everyone’s stress is triggered in the same way.
In fact, as you can see, they can be quite different.
So how do you cope when your unique stress triggers are sparked?
- Do you tear others down to make yourself feel better? (As Purple DOTS can do).
- Do you react temperamentally without fully listening? (As Yellow DOTS can do).
- Do you shut down and simply stop communicating? (As Red DOTS can do).
- Or do you go quiet, retreat into a safe place and hide out for a while? (As Blue DOTS can do).
I encourage you to become consciously aware of the way you react in stressful situations and around people that cause you stress.
Then ask yourself the question – “does this work for me?”
Do you like reacting that way, or would you like to try something else?
Perhaps you’d like to try being more understanding, to react kinder to people or be more open with those around you?
Once you start to become aware of your reactions, you can start to practice better ways of dealing with them.
As hard as it may be, in a stressful situation it is important to understand that you have a choice when it comes to the way you react.
It might not feel like it at first though.
When someone upsets you, it might not feel like you have any choice as to how you react to them. It might actually feel overwhelming because in your mind, it is THEIR fault for upsetting you.
But at the end of the day you should know that although you cannot control how someone speaks to you, you can control how YOU react to them.
The only part of a stressful situation that you have complete control over, is how you choose to react.
Yes that’s right – your reaction is a choice.
It can take some practice to get used to the idea, but your attitude towards another person or towards a situation is up to you.
One of the truest statements I’ve ever read is that life is 10% what happens to you – 90% how you react to it.
Be sure to remember that next time you are about to react to your stress triggers and watch as things begin to change.
If you would like to know more about dealing with stress, we can help. Send me a message to find out more.
Keep checking back each week for more handy tips here on our website.
Stay safe everyone!
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