How do you know if you’re addicted to stress? Is it obvious? Where do you start? How do you begin the change?
It’s obvious if you could possibly take the time to watch yourself but most stress addicts think that what they are doing is the “right thing to do” or “what they’re supposed to do” – it never really dawns on them that they’re “over the top”. But here are some clues – in case you’re looking — remember that most stress addicts are in denial because they think that working hard is it or taking care of everyone else is the ticket or the world just can’t do without their constant input or attention or picking up the “pieces” or the “garbage” is their sole responsibility – after all, everyone else is so incapable of taking care of themselves or doing anything without their “hovering”?
What would the world do without you?
- What’s the atmosphere surrounding your work?
- Do you often experience negative feelings at work – your boss is an idiot, your co-workers are slackers, no one understands you, you feel you’ll be fired any minute and going home “on time” is a stressful thought – “how can anyone go home on time – there’s work to be done!”?
- Do you wish that you didn’t have to deal with people at all and would rather computerize everything – “if only they had dedication like you”? Do you often get irritated by what seems to be a lack of “involvement” by others?
- Do you feel superior because of your “sacrifice” to the job, to the boss, to the work?
- At the end of the day, are you satisfied or are you in a constant state, “it’s not enough”?
- Is your financial world in constant chaos and it’s chronic no matter how much money you make?
- Is any of your money being dedicated solely to you for your pleasure?
- Are you working more than one job to make ends meet and the ends never meet?
- Do you hardly ever see your friends? Months go by and there’s been little communication – phone calls, emails and Christmas cards but you just don’t have the time to spend with them – why? Or has your circle of friends diminished so much that there are only three or four people left and you don’t even have the time for them?
- How about acquaintances – do you have any at all?
- Do you even have the time to make a new friend?
- Are you constantly cleaning? Are you getting up at 4 or 5 in the morning to the clean the house before you go to work, denying yourself sleep?
- Are you in a state that “no one can do it like you” so you do everything?
- Do you resent it when your family members take the time to relax in front of the tv or enjoy their friends or golf, play tennis and hang out with friends while you slog away at home?
- Do you feel unappreciated and yet you can’t stop yourself from taking it all on?
- Are you feeling more and more in a state of panic? Are you always “running”? Do you talk fast, fast, fast and yet it’s not fast enough? Does fear grip your day?
- If you’re married, do you think your spouse is having an affair? (is it any wonder – you never have the time for her/him). If you’re single, do you think you’ll never meet anyone? (would you have the time for them even if you met “the one”).
- Are you most often in a state of “fret” – you fret about your work, your co-workers, your boss, your pets, your family members, your money, “how you look”, what others think of you, that you aren’t doing enough, wondering why you “can’t get it right”, and wonder how much more you can give?
However, the main indicator is that you “hardly ever have the time for anything pleasurable”. Why? Because “you have to” – you have to shop, you have to work long hours, you have to “be nice”, you have to sacrifice, you have to do all you can for others, you have to make more money, you have to advance in your career, you have to . . . . . you have to fill your life so you don’t have to face your vulnerability, your humanness, yourself! You don’t realize that the most important thing in life is to learn to love yourself unconditionally and understand that you are not flawed! The hundreds of people from all walks of life and every level of socio-economic level Oprah has had on her show over decades all have one common denominator: they have learned somewhere along the line and that is: they are “defective”! Whether people have achieved the apex of success or experienced the lowest points in their lives, the message is the same.
Is it any wonder then that high levels of stress is a chronic condition of our society when the majority of people have the notion that they are “defective” rather than believing deeply that they are “incredible”?
How would they behave differently if they believed that they had been given special gifts – all of them – gifts to be developed and shared – with pleasure – and a sense of satisfaction every step of the way? Do you think it would be a more rational world?
How do you know if you’re addicted to stress? Is it obvious? Where do you start?
Look – really look – at yourself – “see” how you are behaving, what your thoughts are – – – will you give yourself permission to begin with watching your behavior and your thoughts – or won’t you? If you’re a stress addict, your immediate response will be “no” – you have too much to do – you don’t have the time for you!
Goals? More stress or satisfaction? Give this
new twist on an old theme a try –
it will only cost you taking time for yourself!