• Gareth Ellis

Don’t stress over stress

What is stress?

Is it that feeling you get when you have too much work to do? Is it the notion that there aren’t enough hours in the day? Or is it a lifestyle choice?

For me, stress manifests itself dozens of times in my everyday life. Some days I can control it, others I just can’t. Sounds like ‘normal’ people, right?

Everyone goes through daily stresses. For me I’m getting too fat, but I’m too apathetic to do anything about it at the moment. I’m also buying and selling a house and trying desperately to balance out everything else in my life.

I have a problem, had it since I was a teenager and haven’t learned (yet) how to control it on a regular basis. I have anger issues. I can snap quickly and because of my hate of confrontation I can say things that can cut people deeply, just so the conversation/situation stops or goes away.

But it doesn’t.

I recently went through 8 weeks of counselling to get to the root cause of it all, and what did I discover? That my need to win everything meets my hate of confrontation along with my actual occasional lack of confidence.

The result is exhausting.

Just recently I’ve been stuck in a rut I just can’t seem to get out of. My job was showing no signs of progression, I had delayed post-wedding/honeymoon blues and I was feeling a little helpless against the other daily stresses (the tiny buggers had all ganged up you see.)

The problem is that when you say you have a problem with anger it’s easy to feel like a mental case. People don’t know how to approach you, and people don’t know what to say or how to act. I’ll give you a helping hand. It’s that age old phrase of course, it’s not you, it’s me. But in this case I really am serious, it’s me who has to learn.

I have to accept also that I will have an off day. Every ‘normal’ person has an off day. It’s just making sure that it doesn’t fester that is the issue.

There is a way out though. No it’s not that, never that. I mean a way you can change things for the better. That’s by worrying about the things you CAN control.

Can you control what people think of you? No. However, you can control how you talk to them and how you treat them.

Can you control getting a pay rise and a promotion at work? No. But you can control the opportunities you seek and the work you put in.

People may not always praise you verbally but you have to take comfort in the fact that you’re doing a good job.

And if you’re doing a good job and someone doesn’t appreciate it or see it for what it’s worth then just plough on knowing that you are awesome.

Don’t do what I’ve done and take it as a knock back. Don’t think that someone’s criticism is a roadblock, it’s not! Annoying as it may be you need to take it in your stride.

If you read this and you’re going through stress I want you to try something. It’s come from a book J is using and it’s helped me so much.

In the morning think of three things that you’re grateful for. In the day repeat those things to keep you going.

Then at night, before you go to bed think of three amazing things that happened, even small things, it may be a great coffee you had or a conversation with someone that made you smile.

You’ll be surprised at what the power of positive thinking can actually do.

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