Are These 7 Habits Making You Feel Stressed?

I think it is fair to say that modern life has its fair share of stress. Whether it’s our relationships, career, health, financial situation, environment or a critical incident – we all experience stress. Stress is subjective – so something that is stressful for me may not be stressful for someone else.

However, did you know many of us compound our stress levels through our draining habits? If you want to reduce your stress and make your life a little easier to manage, you may like to have a look at these 7 habits that could be making you feel stressed…


1. Needing to Be Right

Generally speaking, people like to be right. Maybe it’s because we have been conditioned from birth to defend ourselves or convince other people we are “right”. We are conditioned through our schooling systems, through sport, our relationships and the environments we grow up in.

One thing I started to realise about “being right”, is when one person is right, generally the other person is perceived as “wrong”.

What if there was another way? What if we could choose to be kind over being right?


2. Checking Social Media –

Have you ever noticed how you feel when you are checking your social media?

One of my friends said to me the other day that she doesn’t check her social media anymore “as everyone else has great lives and she doesn’t”. Of course I found that interesting and discussed it further with her. However, it also appears she is not the only one feeling this way.

Whilst social media is a great tool for connecting and staying in touch with friends, it is also important to realise that too much can cause stress, depression and anxiety. Research has found social media can affect a person’s mood, increase stress levels and negatively affect a person’s sense of self worth.

With this in mind, it is important to monitor your checking of social media and take breaks from it. Maybe even go on a social media detox for an hour, day, week or month? Remember – to identify what is OK for you as removing social media entirely, may also increase your stress!


3. Putting Yourself Down –

Have you ever wanted to try something new, change something, ask for help or pursue a passion? Then, as you muster enough courage to take small steps towards these changes or situations, you start to feel nervous, anxious or fearful?

You may even notice a voice inside your head constantly evaluating you why these changes could never happen – you’re not clever or skilled enough, everything you do is wrong, you’ll run out of money or a variety of other distorted thoughts.

Well done – you are human! And, we all have this self-criticism and quite often a self-sabotaging voice inside our heads that can hold us back. Some people are aware of this inner critic or voice and some people are not.

Imagine what life would be like if we were more aware of the inner critic and could choose to respond to it instead of react? Well we can!


4. Making Excuses – 

Excuses appear real and they are to the ego. They are a long list of explanations and defenses we create to protect us from vulnerability or being truly seen. There are many excuses from “I’m too old” to “I don’t have enough… (money, knowledge etc.).

Excuses are draining and unless we are willing to untangle from them, can hold you back from leading a happy and fulfilling life.


5. Building Up Clutter –

You have probably heard the saying “tidy home, tidy mind” – it seems like it is true. A study carried out at the University of California measured stress hormone levels in 30 couples. Women who described their home environment as chaotic or messy had higher levels of cortisol, when measured at various points throughout the day. Interestingly, men seemed to be less affected by a messy, cluttered home.

If you find your home is building up clutter, it might be time to do something about it! Maybe you could clear out your wardrobe, clean up your laptop, stop overcommitting or delete apps from your phone. There are many ways to remove clutter from your life!


6. Trying to Be Perfect – 

Perfectionism is hard to define, however the following definition gives some good insights –

  • “A disposition to regard anything short of perfection as unacceptable; especially: the setting of unrealistically demanding goals accompanied by a disposition to regard failure to achieve them as unacceptable and a sign of personal worthlessness.” ~ Merriam-Webster Medical Dictionary
  • “A personal standard, attitude, or philosophy that demands perfection and rejects anything less.” ~
  •  “Refusal to accept any standard short of perfection.” ~ Oxford Dictionaries

In the above definitions of perfectionism, you probably noticed the words –

  • unrealistically demanding goals,
  • a sign of personal worthlessness, and
  • rejection or refusal of anything less (than perfectionism).

Perfectionism is very draining and creates stress and suffering in your life. Which is why it is useful to start to untangle from it!


7. Overcommitting – 

Have you ever heard yourself saying,  “Sure I can do that” or “No worries, I can do that as well.” Then later on as you look at your diary, you realise that trying to fit that extra thing in to your schedule leaves you feeling anxious and stressed out?

Over-committment is a habit that many of us are challenged with. It can effect your health, work, stress levels, relationships as well as your sanity.


Over to You!

Are there any other habits that make you feel stressed? If so, feel free to share any insights below or on our Facebook page here.


If you are ready to take yourself on the adventure of getting to know yourself (your true self), why not join the Toolkit? A place where I share tools, inspiration and ideas to live a courageous and openhearted life.

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