Independence Day is just around the corner. Oftentimes we equate the Fourth of July with vacations, picnics, fireworks and time with friends and family. This can also be a time to stop and reflect what freedom truly means to you, even freedom from the bondage of high stress levels. The effects of chronic pressure are insidious, and can distort how we see life’s situations.

As you write your own declaration of independence from the effects of chronic stress, consider these three mistakes people make under high pressure and solutions to shift your thinking.

Mistake #1. You Become Your Own Worst Enemy. Sometimes you don’t have to look very far for criticism on how you’re handing problems. Nitpicking thoughts can cloud your mind, such as”I should have done it differently,” “I feel worthless.” Self-criticism can help keep us stuck in chronic stress mode.
Solution: Ask yourself how you would treat your best friend experiencing stress-filled times. Then treat yourself as if you were your own best friend.
Mistake #2. You make decisions based on fear, not from reality. Fear is a very powerful emotion during stressful periods. And while fear may be a helpful emotion when dealing with a life-saving situation, it can block rational thought in making the best decisions during a rough patch. Personal survival becomes the focus instead of making decisions from a clear, rational mind.
Solution: Find strategies to move fear out of your mind and into reality. Connect with a trustworthy source to talk about what you are most fearful of. Write down your fears on paper. This will help discern what is fear-based and what is reality-based.
Mistake #3. You wish your life away. Some common thought patterns include “I wish it were Friday,” or “I wish (fill in the blank) wasn’t happening to me.” We all have wished at some time to be anywhere but work or in the midst of a difficult situation. However, this thought process can be an escape pattern instead of coping with a stressful or unhappy situation at hand.
Solution: Write down ten things you are grateful for. Your gratitude list is what you tangibly have that means the most to you in the moment. Act as if you love what you’re doing. Stop being a victim to your circumstances. Remember, for every bit of bad you see in your life there is an equal amount of good.

Avoiding these three common pitfalls can send you well on your way to reducing high stress levels.

 

5 thoughts on “Freedom from High Stress Levels: The Top Three Mistakes People Make When They Are Under High Stress”

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