December 17, 2020
Oh boy. For my first post I sure picked a big one. How do we define “stress”? According to the Mental Health Foundation “Stress can be defined as the degree to which you feel overwhelmed or unable to cope as a result of pressures that are unmanageable.”
Seems broad, doesn’t it? This is because stress comes in all shapes and sizes. There is no one-stress-fits-all. This is important to remember when dealing with other’s emotions. Take for instance, spilling coffee. For some, this would be a small event. Even one to be laughed at. Add an extra level of stress into the scenario, spilling your coffee, breaking your favorite mug into a million pieces, having people hear the crash and draw attention to yourself, etc. What you see is someone spilling coffee. What they feel could be shame, embarrassment, and most of all, added stress. When they sweep up shattered pieces of ceramic mug, their stomach hurts and their face is flushed. This seemingly small event = a massive shift in mental wellness. We all know how it feels when it seems every single thing is going wrong only to spill our own coffee.
As important as it is to keep stress in mind when dealing with others, it is equally important to remember when dealing with your own emotions. We’d all like to think we are calm, cool, and collected individuals until all of the sudden we go off the deep end. It might be a stressful work day for instance. Seemingly every little thing is irritating us to our core. Often our first instinct is to berate ourselves. “Why do I feel like this?” “What’s wrong with me?” “This isn’t a big deal!” These thoughts can be harmful. There is something I like to practice when I find myself in this situation and that is being gentle with myself. This can be difficult but ultimately what it comes down to is instead of berating yourself just think: how would you treat a child in a stressful situation? You would most likely calmly explain to them that like everything else, stress passes. But in the meantime, it is okay to feel your feelings. Your feelings are valid. Feelings are a painful necessity to growth. Tell yourself, “It is okay that I feel like this. I am not broken, I am just stressed.” Be gentle with yourself, even when you spill your coffee and break your favorite mug.
For more info on being gentle with yourself, Click Here.
Thanks for reading, Friends.
Veronica @ Weekly Wellness