Raise your hand if you’ve felt stressed recently?
Just what I thought.
All hands up.
Stress is one of those inevitable things in our lives that we can’t seem to ever completely remove.
ESPECIALLY the stress of being a successful small biz owner.
I mean, it's difficult to balance the needs and demands of your business with those of your family, friends, and yourself.
Especially in the summertime... when the sunshine is literally calling your name.
Since your stress doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon...
You’re gonna want to hear about these 4 surprising causes of stress.
And they are not the obvious ones you KNOW about.
These are sneaky stressors you're doing (or not doing) each and every day that are subconsciously adding to your stress.
But don't worry, my friend... for every problem, there's a solution.
I'm gonna give you a super easy holistic hack to use for each issue.
Let’s dive in...
4 Surprising Causes of Stress
1. Too much time on social media.
Social media can be soothing when you're stressed out and need a break.
There's something oddly comforting about scrolling through Instagram, looking at people's pics and videos... forgetting about your own life for a few minutes. Or hours. LOL
But, it can also become an addiction. #facts
Too much time on social is creating stress-addicted zombies now (no offense). LOL
Here's something important to know... social media usage has been scientifically linked to increased stress levels.
And decreased confidence in yourself.
Since the release of smartphones, people worldwide (especially kids and young adults) have reported more mental health concerns.
In less than a decade, the rate of depression among adolescents increased by 52%.
Adults are more depressed too... the report showed a 63% jump between 2009 to 2017.
Yikes. Scary, right?
There's even a term for it... compare and despair.
Even if you think you're not comparing yourself... or internalizing negativity... when you look at other people's posts – it may be causing you more stress.
So here’s how we fix this...
For the next week, reduce your time online.
In your phone, you should have a way to track your screen time.
Take a look at your average daily screen time and make a plan to reduce it for the next 7 days.
Maybe you aim for 10-15% less time online... or to reorganize your day for separate biz and personal scroll time.
Basically, trim it up and approach social time consciously instead of mindless wandering.
If you know you lack the willpower to do this on your own, there are even apps that lock you out of social accounts based on a timer.
That's good if you're one of those social media zombie addicts LOL.
Intentionally change your scrolling habits for a week and see how you feel.
Personally, when I'm making a habit change like this, I like doing a daily tracking system combined with pre-bedtime journaling...
...to jot down what I did differently today and how I feel.
It's super simple but documenting these actions paired with feelings is the one-two punch for making changes happen.
So give it a shot yourself and see what happens for you.
It may seem like offloading your frustrations will help get them out of your system...
But if you do this too often (or about the same freaking thing over and over again), it can also have the opposite effect.
It makes you more focused on what’s going wrong.
Relying heavily on venting as “stress relief” is a sign that you need to hack your mindset.
Because you’re allowing yourself to be too influenced by difficult things that happen in life.
And you know what... you're actually stressing out the people you're venting to.
They may not say it directly to your face (unless they're your family or partner LOL) but you're bleeding your negativity all over them. Which sucks.
If you do this at work or in your business, it actually makes you seem like less of a leader.
Yes, it's important to feel humanly connected with your peeps...
But if you're in a position of leadership and you're complaining to your team on the regular, you're actually making them lose confidence in you.
So, before you let those feelings fly... try this approach.
Ask yourself if there's anything you can do RIGHT NOW to change it.
- If there is, do it.
- If there's not, but you can do something about it later, jot down in your calendar or to-do list what you need to do and when.
- If there's nothing you can do about it AT ALL... consider if it's worth being upset about.
I know you may not believe this, but you CAN choose your feelings.
The theme of this is... take action with your venting.
Don't let things take up rent inside your head unnecessarily.
Tell yourself that space is for your next biz breakthrough... and consciously choose to kick negativity to the curb.
BUT if you really DO need to vent, let the person you're venting to KNOW that's what you're doing.
I've found that listeners often kick into solution mode when you complain about something... which is frustrating AF when you just want to be heard.
So if you just want to vent and be heard – SAY THAT.
A simple "Do you have time for me to vent to you for a few minutes?" will do it.
Then let them say yes or no.
If they say yes, they'll be in the right frame of mind – and energy space – to let you do just that.
If they say no, respect that.
People have their own battles they're fighting every day... it's not all about you. LOL
One other thing about venting... if you truly do want solutions – SAY THAT too.
Frame it up like "I could use your advice." And then actually listen to their input.
If there’s too much noise when I’m trying to concentrate, I become a ball of stress.
Get totally thrown out of that flow state.
Here's a little science fact for ya...
Loud noises can trigger our amygdala – the part of our brain that controls basic responses – to think we are in danger.
Which releases cortisol and triggers stress reactions.
One quick and easy fix for this is to get yourself a pair of noise-canceling headphones.
Wear those when you need to concentrate but you’re in a loud environment.
And if you find yourself being completely distracted by loud noises and you can't concentrate again, take a short break to go outside and get some fresh air.
Go for a quick walk or maybe a 10-minute yoga flow to reset your headspace.
Stepping away for a few minutes totally works... and lets you drop back into concentration mode way more easily.
And this brings us to the next unexpected stressor that impacts your success...
4. Avoiding your own thoughts.
It may surprise you to realize this, but most of our daily thoughts are on the surface level.
- Tasks to do.
- Meals to prep.
- Shopping to finish.
- Places to be.
That’s perfunctory level thinking. Getting us from point A to point B.
Let's be real... Most of us don't spend enough introspective time.
Which can lead us to literally not know who we are.
We define ourselves with labels.
For example, maybe you'd say: I'm a mom. I'm a biz owner. I'm a marketer. I'm a wife.
But are those things WHO you actually ARE inside?
If they were each taken away, would you cease to exist? Nope.
Whoa, we just went deep. LOL.
Not spending time with your own thoughts can be stressful AF.
We aren't meant to swim in those upper levels of consciousness 24/7.
There's a reason we have deep-thinking capabilities... we're meant to use them.
When you spend time checking in with yourself about how you’re REALLY feeling, it can act as a serious de-stressing hack.
It can lead to major epiphanies in your life and biz, too.
There are lots of ways to create introspective moments, like:
1. Creating a journaling routine where you regularly decompress and work through your thoughts.
2. Leave yourself audio messages.
3. Driving alone with the radio off to be present with your thoughts.
4. Asking yourself the 4 Soul questions…
- Who am I?
- What do I want?
- How can I be of service?
- What am I grateful for?
5. Meditation is a great way to go inside yourself and connect with the deepest part of you.
The point is… spend time with yourself, working through your thoughts and processing that information on a regular basis.
Just like I did researching today's topic.
Which was pretty eye-opening. I'm definitely making some changes to my routine to reduce stress.
Now that you are aware of these unknown stressors you can actually take steps to avoid them.
Once you get to a place where you have rid yourself of some stress and finally have room for self care, this will definitely help you.
I'll see ya online.