15 Nov 2019

How to deal with end of year stress

From Afternoons with Jesse Mulligan, 1:18 pm on 15 November 2019

This time of year can be stressful for many people with Christmas approaching and the school holidays looming.

And if it gets out of hand it can cause me into or even physical illness.

Neil McGregor from human synergistics explains how to identify stress and how to stop it from becoming overwhelming.

Man in solitude feeling bad during christmas day

Photo: 123rf

Stress, he says, is quite misunderstood.

“A lot of people use the word stress, when they mean distress.

“But actually stress is all around us that's what gets us out of bed motivates us to get on do things in life. We need stress in our lives.”

There are two different types of stress; distress and EU stress, he says.

“Not many people have heard of EU stress it’s what makes you feel good after a great achievement to make you feel awesome, you know that feeling that you get?

“It might be on your wedding day, it might be after you've climbed a mountain, but it could all just be the little things as well something you've even just mowing the lawns or weed the garden.”

There is no such thing as a stressful event, he says.

“It's not actually what happens, it’s what we think about what happens. And so we like to talk about stress as being an inside job, it's actually not the event which creates the stress, it's the way we think about that event.

“It’s just a situation, it's not until we process it, that we decide that it's stressful.”

To change habits we have to be more conscious in our thinking, he says.

“So if we think of our past, and we have very positive images of our past, they're less likely to be a stress for us. But if we have some regrets or resentment around our past, those things can come out to play and we're always thinking about them.

A case in point; if something happens and it had a negative connotation, when that occurred in the past, we immediately think it's going to be negative in the future. And so we think, ‘Oh, damn, here we go again’, whereas in fact, it might not happen.”

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