Stress can be a very difficult thing to deal with in life and many of us take on too much stress and isolate ourselves away to deal with the stresses. We act like there is no stress in the first place and struggle in silence telling ourselves we can deal with everything on our own whether it is big or small on our own, or else we ignore the stress entirely and end up taking a mental breakdown and all the stuff that bothers you hits you all at the same time. Either way all the little stresses in life will begin to take there toll and this begins to boil out in a toxic manner whether its a full blown mental breakdown or by not paying attention where we are needed and the people we care about are the ones to suffer because we have so much on our mind, or insecurities that we have built up which make us defensive and push the people that care about us away. There are many other ways that we allow stresses to boil over in a toxic manner.
Talk about the problem!
This is something that many of us either don’t do at all or we do too much and in the wrong way. We need to talk about our problems and let the people that we care about and that care about us know what we are going through. There are many different ways to approach talking about a problem. How you approach the conversation will depend on you yourself and the type of person you are, the problem that you need to talk about and the person you intend to talk to about it (sounds like a lot but its not as bad as it seems).
Just let people know what you are going through.
By telling someone your problem it can help to loosen the grip that the problem has on you and this can relieve a lot of the stress that you may be feeling. This sort of a conversation is one that should be had with a very close friend that you know you can trust or a trusted family member. during this conversation you need to make sure to establish boundaries on the reach of the conversation, i.e. “this conversation is not to be shared with anyone else”, and you should trust that the person will respect any boundaries set and not gossip to the entire town.
If the problem is a very big one that you’re trying to get to grips with then you probably don’t want someone telling you what they think you should be doing and trying to solve the problem for you. You must establish that you are having the conversation to try to make sure you yourself fully understand the magnitude of the situation.
Don’t misconstrue information or lie about small details when telling the person, if you trust them enough to tell them be honest and try to come to a full understanding because lying will only misconstrue the truth in your own head and this will only make you more confused when you try to deal with the problem. if you’ve done something stupid or embarrassing then its done, but try and get your head around it and then try to fix it.
After you have a conversation with someone, about the problem that you have gone through or are going through, it’s time to have a conversation about what can be done about it. For some people just telling someone about their problem is enough to help them clear their mind to a state where they are able to come up with a plan of action and it will also allow them to know that they have a supportive friend to go to if they need further reassurance. For those who don’t know what they should do next they should have a conversation with someone who has gone through something similar in the past or that has helped someone else with something similar. In this conversation some sort of brainstorming or back and forth suggestions are made and a plan of action is formulated.
You’ve got to want it!
After you have these conversations you need to take action and follow through with the action plan described. There is no point in having the conversations described above if you don’t actually want to solve the problem and improve your situation. If all you do is complain about a problem and ask people to tell you a solution but you don’t do anything then all you are doing is waiting for someone to come and put your life together for you. If someone else were to come and fixes your problems for you then eventually they will become exhausted from doing it all the time and stop or you will run them into the ground. This is a toxic way of living and doesn’t help yourself or the people you care about. Own the problem and fix it.
Let’s tackle a problem!
As an example problem we will talk about a problem in relation to work (I’m going to use a male as example but it works for any gender). There is a colleague in the office who is making your life miserable. It has been going on for a few months now and it’s really beginning to effect your life outside of work as well as at work. Everyday you come home to your girlfriend and moan about how tough your day was (without being specific just complaining, just whining about how crap work is). All the little stresses that come with the job are whined about because they have become unbearable due to the person making life miserable and by the fact that your already in a very negative mood leaving that morning. Now your girlfriend is getting annoyed because you are being moody all the time and not being as affectionate and caring. you’re becoming self centered and mopey. You go out with the guys a few times and blow off steam to then be hungover and even more miserable with your partner. She keeps asking you if there is something wrong but you just brush it off.
This problem has several factors but the person is refusing to talk about the actual problem. They are always complaining about the situation they are in but never having a true conversation about the problem. This is a terrible situation and without anything being done it will develop something much worse with the potential for a break up or decline in performance at work which could lead to being fired or both and this will lead to a terrible negative, downward spiral.
Solving this problem starts by identifying that there is one. From part one of the series we saw that we need to declare the stresses and problems that we are going through. The next time your partner or someone asks “is everything okay?” be honest and have a honest conversation about how you aren’t happy at work and have that conversation to help you understand why you are miserable because you may not be fully aware of the root cause of your misery. This conversation often doesn’t need to have any talk of solution but of what the hell is going on inside your head.
The people in your life care about you. They wouldn’t be in your life otherwise. You need to trust them with your thoughts and feelings and allow them to help you make sense of your own thinking. It may take a few conversations to truly understand what the root cause is, especially if you’ve been ignoring the root of your problems for a long time.
After a few conversations with your partner, friends and/or family members about figuring out why you are unhappy its time for you to have conversations with them about how you can approach the situation and hopefully have it resolved.
Talking doesn’t have to be exclusive to just friends or family. There are other places to go to talk about your problem if you don’t want to burden the people you are close to with it or if you just don’t want them to know this thing about you.
The internet is an amazing tool that we take too much stress from and don’t even recognize its capabilities to help us to manage our stress. Rather than spending our time on social media looking at people who already have all the things that we are looking for we should be using the internet to find people who are either going the same things that you are, or someone that has already gone through the problem already and may have an insight into how you may be able to better deal with the problem than how they did.
Depending on the problem you may be dealing with there may be nobody in your direct friend group that can comprehend or truly empathize with you and this can be an extremely lonely feeling. Online forums are a great place to find other people to talk to but depending on the issue there may not be many available on that topic but this should not be seen as a discouragement, this is an opportunity for you to create a forum to help raise awareness of the issue and to help other people in the same situation or a similar situation. You may even inspire some people to step forward and tell their story in order to help others become better and stronger versions of ourselves. You also can remain anonymous on most of these forums so privacy isn’t an issue.
Talk to a professional
We are fairly stupid for being as intelligent as we are. Humans are very self sabotaging creatures. Why is it that we won’t go and seek professional help from a psychiatrist? On a yearly basis we go to the dentist and get our teeth checked, we go to a doctor any time we get the sniffles or an injury, and we go to many different professionals to help us with things in a variety of different ways.
So why don’t we go and talk to a psychiatrist? Our mind is our greatest asset. It is the part of us that has allowed us to survive and build the complex civilizations that we live in. Why don’t we see a professional to help us use our minds better and to train it to not self sabotage as much.
There is a stigma around seeing a psychiatrists that needs to be changed. We shouldn’t only go to see a psychiatrist when our worlds have imploded and we have to try and put ourselves back together. We should learn to build a relationship with them and through talking with them we can learn how to better evaluate ourselves. We will be able to understand when and why we aren’t dealing with something in a proactive or healthy manner.
We are not alone in our problems. If we don’t talk about them and try to deal with them then they become other peoples problems without them knowing what the problem is. By talking we open up for a possibility of understanding for both ourselves and the people that care about us. Understanding is the first step to taking action towards solving a problem.
By talking and actively solving a problem you may then become more aware of similar problems with other people that you care about and you will be better equipped to helping them deal with their problems. You will also be better equipped to preventing this problem from arising again in your own life.
Even if your friends and family don’t understand or aren’t able to help there is still forums and places where you can meet and talk with other people going through a similar ordeal. There is also the option of a professional which can help you to get on a better path in life (and I don’t mean you’re not on a particularly bad path but it can always be better). Psychiatrists did study to know how to help people so go and ask for their help.