“If you don't like something change it; if you can't change it, change the way you think about it.” 
-Mary Engelbreit

High stress and pressure to perform can come about from real problems and life circumstances. Work, family, health and financial stress can consume you to the point of being completely overwhelmed. Exhaustion doesn’t seem to go away but you keep pushing forward to accomplish the endless to do list.  One thought keeps turning like a revolving door, “If I stop everything will crumble.”  You might know someone who lives in this world and it could even be you. Living under this kind of stress for any length of time is harmful to your emotional and physical health.

What if I told you that you could make it stop?

Thriving in chaos and the rush of adrenaline can become a lifestyle choice. Keeping a constant pace to get work accomplished just becomes commonplace. However, there are behaviors and habits that can keep you stuck. And it’s creating suffering and stress.

Mistake #1 Chronic Complaining. This behavior goes beyond discussing that something is bothering the complainer. Nothing seems to go right and the world is wrong. No thoughts or choices made have anything to do with the current circumstances. This is living in a victim’s world. The complainer chooses to take little responsibility for their actions.

Check for patterns in life. If there’s a bad streak of luck, ask what choices were made that led up to the outcome. Situations have two sides. Victim thinking suggests being powerless. The next choice made can be one of owning responsibility instead of blaming others or circumstances.

Mistake #2 Regret the Past or Fear the Future. When living in the past or future, there is no present life. The world is seen through the eyes of someone wounded from the past or fearful of the future. The result is that there is no life to live. The mind is somewhere else other than whatever is happening.

Take a deep breath and live in the now. Acknowledge that the mind is taking a vacation that has no beginning or end. The present is a beautiful place to live. The colors of life are grander than any worry or fear.

Mistake #3 Control. Control is the master magician’s mind trick. As long as people, places and things are under control, life is manageable. The level of energy and intense work required to keep everything under control is exhausting.

Control isn’t about how to organize everything around you. It has everything to do with self love and peace inside yourself. Begin to watch if these patterns crop up and be aware of the patterns that magnify stress.

18 thoughts on “High Stress: The Three Most Common Mistakes People Make That Magnify Stress”

  1. Yes! As mentor and guru, Alex Mandossian always say’s, “You either have reasons or results!”
    I love too, your point about control. I used to try to control everything and my life was miserable. Letting go of control was one of the most liberating experiences of my life. 🙂

  2. Amen to #2…so many people let their past dictate their future. Unfortunately, there isn’t a thing you can do about your past..it’s done, all you can do is learn from it and move on. Great article, Lisa!

  3. Lisa, I just had a conversation with a woman who was a chronic complainer. She couldn’t get beyond her suffering, and I had to back away quickly before I got sucked in. Any suggestions on how to handle (positively) others that can’t see what’s possible in life?

  4. Lisa, I totally can relate with your article. I recently broke my ties with a friend. She complained about everything….nothing I could do or say would make a difference. I told her how I felt but she didn’t see it as complaining…only the way the world is! Needless to say, I have let her go…not forever…just for a while. Her negative attitude brought me down. It was time for me to move on! Thanks for sharing. Wishing you a fabulous day!

  5. Isn’t our stress almost all self-imposed? I find myself stressing about things and then later asking myself “Why?”
    Take a deep breath, and let it go.

  6. Grat article! I recognize some of these culprits in myself and the caregivers who desperately need to hear these tips! thanks for the great advise and great job! Patricia

  7. I have days I can’t even control my hair! Who am I to think I have everything under control? What’s that saying, “Tell God what you’ve got planned and He’ll show you Who’s really in control.” Love that you point out self examination when you seem to have a string of “bad luck.” Great insights here.

  8. I agree with Kim…even controlling my hair can be a challenge. Living in the moment is so vitally important. When I got married a good friend gave me some great advice. SHe told me to be in the moment for every part of my day…”Don’t think about your reception during the ceremony or you won’t even remember that you got married”. That was over 30 years ago and that advice is still some of the best advice I ever got. Thanks for affirming that great advice!

  9. Thank you sooo much for posting this! I tend to not stop. I’ve noticed that I have to always being doing something – on my iPhone, my laptop, etc. This made me stop and take a look at what I’ve been doing and get my attention to just chill 🙂

  10. Thank you Lisa, this is so huge! People love to magnify especially negativity, it is habit and a trick of mind! I like your 3 points you make. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Solvita. It’s amazing how complaining can become a feeding frenzy for negativity, isn’t it?

  11. Well, I guess I’m ahead of the game–I gave up on my hair years ago. Being a control freak is definitely a stressor. Seriously, though, I think #1 is critical. Complaining doesn’t do anything except allow you to wallow in your misery and drag others in to join you. It’s best to focus on looking forward with optimism and making the best of life.

  12. You nailed it here Lisa ~ I recognize at least one of these things in all of the people I see who are over-stressed and unhappy. I think the easiest one to change is stop the complaining. When I have a bad or stressful experience, I make a conscious effort not to talk about it with everyone I see. Instead I try to engage others in conversation about their day or purposefully talk about something good to take my mind off the bad.

    1. Great approach, Jennifer. Complaining begets complaining. Shifting to something positive can really change your day- and reduce your stress. Thank you!

  13. I have been feeling a bit stressed lately, though I don't think it is from mistakes #1 or #2 you've listed. Taking a closer look at this and doing what I can to get rid of unnecessary stress. Thank you!

  14. A really hard one is regretting the past. It takes a lot of energy and thought control to master that one and just focus on going forward. It's a hard pill to swallow when there is stuff you know you can never change or go back and redo, and because you can't fix it, it is affecting your present and future. It's easy to get caught up in a regret cycle of, "If only I did this then, I wouldn't be stuck with this circumstance now." I get around that by telling myself that I wouldn't have the experiences I have now if I had done things right the first time. And if I didn't have these experiences, I wouldn't have managed to do ___ ."

    A great article with some important points clearly identified and explained, Lisa!

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