3 Ways To Avoid Unwanted Stress

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stress ball
How trying to be perfect, or anger or sadness can cause unneeded stress in your life.

One method of dealing with stress is learning how to recognize and talk back to that internal critic you have in your head. Write down all the self-critical thoughts going through your mind. Write down why these thoughts are incorrect. Then, practice talking back to them, explaining why they are wrong. 

For example, if you are going to be late for a meeting, write down the negative thoughts you have about yourself. The declarations of character flaws that being late represent are laziness, thoughtlessness, and apathy. Realize that just because you were late for a meeting, you are not a bad individual. Being late and being bad are separate things that don't necessarily correlate. Do You Talk Down To Yourself?


1. Overcome Perfectionism

Perfectionism is another example of how people create stress out of thin air. A lot of people are very hard on themselves, so, how do you overcome perfectionism? Accepting that you are not perfect or even above average can make your stress level much more manageable. The way to defeat perfectionism is to accept that it is an illusion.

Realize that you are flawed. Realize that everyone is flawed. Perfectionism is often applied globally to a person's entire existence. You cannot possibly be above average, or even average at every facet of your life. Being a perfect housekeeper probably won't help you achieve fulfillment, so just get the dishes done and move on to resting and recharging after working all day.

What are you afraid will happen if you are not perfect? Will my family abandon me if I'm not perfect? Will my boss really fire me if I'm not perfect? Dig into the fear reaction and figure out if the reasons you feel you need to be perfect have any rational basis. How Perfectionism Ruins Your Relationships

The other way you can deal with perfectionism is to see things as a process — see the big picture. Instead of trying to get each detail exactly right, see it as a process. Don't worry about making mistakes, that is how you learn. Failure is the most powerful teacher in the world. Most people are forgiving. They understand and accept that all of us make mistakes.

Perfectionism paralyses you. Many people claim to be writers, but never write a word because they believe that they must write the perfect novel. They fear what critics will say about their book, or they fear that no publisher will buy it. Those things are beyond your control.

Completing the novel will give you a great sense of accomplishment, whether anyone else likes it or not. Most people are writers in their mind, but their idea of perfection keeps them from ever putting pen to paper and discovering what they are truly capable of. Accept that the words won't be perfect, but they will be yours and they will be real. Why Writing A Memoir Will Change Your Life

Some people are dealing with continual stress because they have something they need to say, but are afraid to say it. They need to be authentic. Why won't they say it? Again, the fear underlying the silence must be examined. This will resolve the inaction or at least identify the cause.

Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Mindy Fox


Mindy Fox, MFT




Neurofeedback, Somatic Experiencing, EMDR

Location: Santa Monica, CA
Credentials: LMFT
Specialties: Anxiety Issues, Phobias/OCD, Post Traumatic Stress / Trauma

This Emotional Life


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