What is stressing you out? Work? Family? Money? All of these? Maybe your football team is stressing you out. Or your car. Maybe it’s that relationship ghost that’s been haunting you for the last 10 years. Or your addiction. Or the decision you have to make by the end of the week.
Whatever it is, it’s probably not the thing itself. Most stress—about 85%—comes from indecision or lack of control. It’s not your money that’s stressing you out. It’s the lack of control, or power, or influence. Or it could be a lack of information or actual insight into the problem.
When stress goes unchecked and unmanaged, it can lead to severe anxiety and depression. It can also keep you from recognizing the areas of your life that may actually be just fine. They may bring you relief, in fact. Will you pause long enough to separate the stress and strains of life from the joys and opportunities?
The best way to manage stress to control the things you can actually control. Solve your solvable problems. You may not be able to change your boss’s attitude, but you can change your own. You may not know what that noise is in your car, but I bet you have a friend who does.
If your friend can’t fix your car, take it to a mechanic. If you can’t make any progress on your anxiety and depression, see a therapist. A good therapist will help you gain some perspective, regain some control of your thought life, and help you hear the voice of your heart.
When your priorities are clear, you can cut through the confusion created by lack of control. For some it may be a temporary issue that just needs some examination. For others, it may be a reminder to realign to your core purpose. Don’t let indecision and lack of control stress you out.
Decide today to reclaim your peace of mind. Let us know if we can help, connect with a therapist today.
Zach Brittle, LMHC, is a counselor, author, and blogger in Seattle, WA where he lives with his wife and two daughters. He is a Certified Gottman Therapist and best-selling author of The Relationship Alphabet. Follow him on Facebook at Zach Brittle, LMHC or on Twitter @kzbrittle.