One of the seminars I do is on the subject of stress, called Take Your Foot Off The Gas. I titled it that because one of the funny things about it is that most people, when they recognize they're under stress, actually help to escalate it rather than work towards bringing it down.

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Everyone deals with stress in their lives; heck, even babies are stressed. The one thing we need to learn from babies is that when their stress is taken care of, most of them are pretty happy. Diaper change; happiness. Food; feeling even better.

Our stress is a much bigger deal than that because it can lead to either physical or emotion problems, even if you've never had them before. Stress can drive you to drink, eat the wrong things, eat too much of the wrong things, lay in bed all the time, withdraw from friends and family, keep your curtains and blinds closed, dim or turn off lights, scream or lash out physically at a moment's notice, even go mad. And a lot of things in between.

I'm not about to give my entire presentation here; if I did that, there would be no reason to hire me. 🙂 Instead, in this article I'm going to mention some of those things that stress people, and then in the post tomorrow I'm going to mention some ways to beat stress.

A. Home Life

I've yet to meet a person with kids who hasn't ever felt stress. That's the easiest one to call out. Some of the others aren't as easy. Relationships with relatives, spouses and friends don't always go as hoped.

B. Money

Not being able to pay bills or buy things like food or clothes is very stressful. Even if you think you have enough money, let something like the heating system or the refrigerator suddenly go on you, and you realize you don't have enough space on your credit card or enough in savings to immediately replace it; much stress there.

C. Lack of knowledge/skills

This one can be a double stress for some people as it concerns their jobs and careers because either 1) they perceive they're inadequate professionally or, 2) they know they are. Both of these are strong and it points to a lack of feedback from management or confidence in one's abilities.

D. Performance measure

One again, this is a double stressor for some. It can be related to 1) your performance or 2) the performance of those around you. More people are stressed because they can't control what's going on around them more than being worried about themselves; isn't that freaky?

E. Fear

This is probably the easiest stressor of all to figure out, and in most cases the hardest one to overcome. There are way too many things to be afraid of and, unless addressed, it never goes away.

F. Depression

For some, depression is a manifestation of stress, but for others depression causes its own stresses in people. Depression leads to so many negative things, including stress, that it's important to address it in some way.

G. The Unknown

Are you scared of dying? Are you scared of being on the road? Do you fear catching a horrible disease, cancer, heart problems? Being scared of things that have no answer you can research or anything you can't beat by following certain patterns is definitely a very stressful thing to deal with.

H. The Weather

It almost seems silly tossing this one in until you realize that there are a lot of people stressed by the weather, especially in the winter months on northern states and countries. The lack of Vitamin D, more cloudy days, extreme cold... that's a lot of stress to deal with, especially if people still need to get out of the house. People who live in flood plains or hurricane alleys go through the same type of thing; no one controls weather.

I. Time, or lack thereof

Are you always late? Do you have to be at work at a certain time every day? Are you one of those people who's always early, thus messing up the schedule of someone else? Do you have problems completing projects? Who doesn't understand this one?

I wasn't going to try to answer every single stressor imaginable, but these categories pretty much cover the bulk of what people go through. It's scary isn't it? Everyone's had to deal with at least one of these. Some people have dealt with multiple; some people are going through these right now.

Is there help? Absolutely! It's not perfect help, because nothing's perfect. Still, that's what tomorrow's article will address. Meanwhile, do you have other stressors you can think of that don't fit into any of these categories?

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