Stressors are the things that can trigger you into fight or flight mode.
Even though you can’t control all the stressors in your life, you can control how you deal with them.
Identify your stressors
We all have our own triggers. Mountains of laundry and dirty dishes in the sink are my personal stressors. I have friends who love doing the laundry and find folding and putting aways clothes relaxing. A mountain of laundry isn’t a big deal to them. However, they may stress over emails in their inbox or meal planning. Figure out what can send you into stress mode by first listening to your body.
Listen to your body
Stress can live in our bodies even when our minds say, “I’m not stressed.” If you have tense muscles, grind your teeth and have a hard time catching your breath you may be stressed. During a routine physical exam, many years ago, I complained of not being able to take a full breath into my lungs, and I was fatigued. My doctor said, “I think you’re stressed.” I immediately said, “No, I don’t have anything to be stressed about.” But when I got real with myself, I realized stress really was the cause of my shortness of breath and exhaustion.
Pay attention to how you feel as you deal with day-to-day responsibilities:
- Do you notice a sense of overwhelm when you see your cluttered kitchen countertops?
- Can you feel tension in your lower back when you sit down to pay bills?
- Does the thought of interacting with certain people trigger a sense of dread?
- When you look at your social media feed do you get a headache?
Those unpleasant emotional and/or physical reactions are signs of stress.
Sometimes, stressors aren’t easy to identify. You know you’re stressed, but haven’t found the root cause. You may need to do some deep emotional digging to discover your triggers. This isn’t always fun, but worth it if you can eliminate the stress.
Self-exploration activities like journaling and meditating are helpful with identifying hidden stressors.
Some examples of hidden stressors:
- The layout of you home
- Your job
- Your nutrition
- Too much exposure to technology
- Other people’s agendas and drama
- Ignoring selfcare
- Spending too much or too little time with certain people
Stressors are clutter
If a certain thing always causes stress, it is clutter. How do you deal with cutter? DECLUTTER. After you have identified a stressor remove it, if possible.
- Delete or delegate tasks that cause you serious stress.
- Stop seeing people who suck the life out of you.
- Come up with a plan to get rid of debt.
- Get rid of all the extraneous clutter in your home.
- Do the dishes, take out the trash, put the laundry away.
- Take action!
What if you can’t remove the cause of your stress?
Sometimes, you are not able to declutter certain stressors from your life. In this case, use a few de-stressing tools to help you cope:
These activities can help you de-stress by calming your nervous system, slowing down your heart rate and regulating your breathing.