My life is so frantic! There’s never enough time and peace to just sit down and relax. I have work commitments and deadlines and then there’s always issues, and people are just so stressful, everyone’s got issues and everything’s complicated. Even when I do get some along time to rest I feel so troubled by everything that’s going on I can’t even just sit quietly, my mind is always active and I feel uneasy. I get these headaches and aches and pains all over, I just wish I could get away from it all, the traffic, and the work, and the family politics and the everything!!!
Virtually everyone, especially those who live in the city, have some degree of stress. There’s traffic, noise, pollution, then there’s the constant demand for your attention, there’s work commitments and deadlines, pressures and tension, computer screens and difficult people, there’s bills and financial commitments, there are social and family obligations, there are addictive stimulants which make one edgy and hyper, there’s no time and space. Some remain consciously aware of it but many get used to it and take it as the given landscape but all will feel the accumulated effects of stress on their health, emotions, and relationships. Are you stressed out and do you need help?
Stress is a low level often subliminal surface emotion that becomes a chronic background sensation for many people. There are various kinds of physical, social and work stressors or irritants and it usually feels like there’s nothing you can do about any of it. The energy of stress is unpleasant and heavy but not sharp and bursting and intensely personal like anger, it is more rounded and grungy. It doesn’t call for action or want to go somewhere. It just kind of rumbles around before it settles in, and stirs things up. Stress feeds all other emotional movements, and other more clearly distinguishable emotions feed into stress, generating a mixed ball of emotional turbulence. Stress is well known to exacerbate physical symptoms and diseases.
Stress is a natural response and produces a kind of energy that can be used productively and positively channeled. When you are in school and you have exams coming up, you feel exam stress which is part of what motivates you to focus and learn. Too little stress and you wouldn’t work enough. Too much stress and you wouldn’t be able to focus on anything but the anxiety. When you are driving there is very real danger on the roads and even though you are not in full blown fear you need enough stress to operate effectively on the roads. Too little stress and you may miss something or not recognize a risk. Too much stress and you could over react and also become an unsafe driver. When you’re at work there deliverables, tasks to complete, or projects to deliver on time, as per scope, within budget and with quality and safety and so there is pressure and you feel the stress of the workload but also there are other factors that add to it, like your boss and colleagues, and the inter-personal tensions. Too little stress and you wouldn’t get the job done properly. Too much stress and you will make mistakes, have issues, feel lousy, and not enjoy your work. Too much stress in general leads to relationship, emotional, and health issues.
Stress management is about two things. Firstly outwardly you need to control the amount of exposure to stressors, like driving and workload. If it feels like it is too much then you need to make some changes in your life. Nobody has the right to pressure you to the extent that it is affecting your relationships, your emotional well-being and your health. On the other hand, secondly you need to look at how much internal stress you are generating by not managing your emotions effectively. The repressed material in the unconscious and the suppressed material in the conscious minds are continuously feeding into your subterranean stress ball which also affects the way you perceive external stress. Because you are more internally stressed you perceive more external stress from the environment and people.