I have come to know that stress comes with being an adult. I’m not saying children don’t get stressed. All I’m saying is growing up is really stressful. Because the more you grow, the more things you have to worry about.
There’s bills, relationship, school, work… The list is endless. If you grew up in an healthy family, you would probably have had most of your worries taken care of by your parents. Growing up means having to worry about yourself.
Besides the fact that the society mounts pressure on you, you also mount pressure on yourself. It could be social pressure or pressure from relationships and friendships. When it feels like there’s too much going on, you practically feel stressed all the time.
The weird thing about feeling stressed is that it doesn’t just go away by sleeping or resting. If you don’t take your time to fix it, it only gets worse. And then it comes with other problems.
When you feel stressed, you would be less productive. I have noticed with myself that feeling unproductive makes me even more stressed. It’s like a vicious cycle. I even feel stressed about feeling stressed.
Towards the last four months of year 2020, I finally got tired of feeling stressed. And I decided to do something about it. But first I needed to know why.
I spent my time going through different materials about mental health, stress and anxieties. I’m glad I did because as soon as I was able to identify where the stress came from, I was able to find solutions.
If you find yourself feeling stressed a lot, then it could be because of any of the following reasons.
Reasons why you feel stressed
Before I mention any of these reasons, I must mention that I’m not a professional in this field. All of these are my opinions and are from my personal experience.
Also, if by any chance you cannot relate to any of the points mentioned make sure to look within yourself for the reasons why you feel stressed.
Because in the long run, stress not only damages your brain, it affects every other parts of your body. It even creates strains in your relationships.
Enough said let’s get to the point.
1) You bite more than you chew:
Sometimes, we make plans unconsciously. For instance when someone advertises a pair of shoes on Instagram, you tell yourself you would buy it. And then you daydream about wearing the shoes.
It’s harmless right? No. Your brain actually retains that information. And unless you make a decision about it, it would continue to be on your mind.
Think of your mind as an alarm clock or reminder, for every plan you make, it keeps ringing.
Everytime you see something you are supposed to do and you don’t do it, it registers on your mind. And so it keeps popping on like a notification. “Hey you have to do your laundry.” “You promised to visit Dami”
The more you plan consciously and unconsciously, the more reminders you create.
You feel stressed when you have too many reminders. Too many things to do and that leads to procrastination. The more you procrastinate, the more reminders you have. In the end, you feel burned out.
Even daydreaming about becoming rich and all of the luxuries you would want to acquire is enough to set off a reminder. Because soon enough you will find yourself thinking about it. Unless you are creating a real plan on becoming rich, its just going to add to the list of things you are stressed about.
The trick is to be aware at all times. You need to make sure that you are not making unnecessary plans. You need to listen to your thoughts and all of the things you are thinking about.
If you think of your mind as a phone reminder that rings everytime there’s a notification and keeps ringing till it’s solved it would help you pay more attention to creating plans.
Doing a braindump is something I find very useful. I write down everything I’m thinking about and I also include the solutions.
That way, the burden shifts from my brain to paper. The truth is your brain wants you to be organized.
2) You worry about the things you cannot change:
This is one of the reasons why I started doing a braindump. Unless you know everything you are thinking about, it would be difficult to identify the ones you can’t change.
Most of us worry more about things we can’t change because every time the notification pops up, we find it difficult to make a decision to let go of it.
When I first started my transition to adulthood, I felt like I could change the world. So I worried and kept thinking about changing the world.
Thoughts and introspection
Each time, the world reminded me that it’s stubborn and cannot be changed. This made me sort of depressed because I realized that the world is a really sad place and there’s not much we can do about it. Thinking about it made me feel stressed.
As a kid, I made so many plans for myself. I wanted to do so many things but I later figured out that there are things we have no control over. Worrying about them is a waste of time.
Sometimes we worry about the past or our past decisions. There’s no point worrying about such things since there’s no way we can change them.
It’s much better and easier to focus on the present and the future.
Write down all of the things you are thinking about.
Identify the ones that hurt you the most.
Check if there’s a way to fix the issues. If you can’t do it alone, ask for help.
If no one can fix it, move on.
A lot of things we stress about can be avoided.
3) You don’t use a planner:
The worst thing you can do to yourself as a young adult is to live carelessly. I don’t mean you shouldn’t have fun or go out. What I mean is as a young adult, you have to live deliberately. I’m not sure they teach that in schools.
The significant difference I noticed with when I was stressed and right now is the planner I use. Without a planner, I just did whatever I felt like doing and most times, I didn’t feel like doing anything.
I used to have a planner but it was mainly for academics. It wasn’t for my whole life. I kinda thought planners are for very busy people like business women or men so I convinced myself I didn’t need one.
It wasn’t until I started using a planner that I understood what most successful people mean about planning. It’s almost going to be impossible to achieve all round success without planning.
You can’t plan alone with your brain. Your brain has way too many things to process. You will definitely forget some important things or even get them mixed up. That exactly is why you need a planner.
The major reason why most people feel stressed is because they have too much going on at the same time. They keep making plans yet they do not use a planner to manage those plans.
In this article I wrote on motivation, I explained how important it is to write out plans.
Moreover, you don’t want to focus on only one part of your life so much that the rest suffer. With a planner, you can achieve a balance.
You can have fun, work hard, maintain relationships and be happy.
Get a planner/ a planning app
Write out new plans as soon as they come up.
Make sure to plan towards a balance.
Plan for what you can do without breaking down.
4) You are surrounded by toxic people:
Toxic people are bad for your mental health. If you work with or live with toxic people, you would find yourself thinking and worrying more than usual. In fact, you would be very irritable, scared and sometimes depressed.
If you feel stressed all the time, you would need to check out the people you are surrounded by. They might be from work, from school, neighbors friends or even family members.
Read also: 15 signs your Nigerian parents are toxic
Once you are able to determine who is taking away your peace, it might be time to either cut them off or follow the tips here.
You should also make sure that you are not the toxic one.
You would need to surround yourself with people who are peaceful and loving. Because we all need to communicate.
Good communication actually reduces stress. I find that when I have great conversations with people, I feel better. Toxic conversations have the opposite effect.
5) You don’t love what you do:
If you don’t love your job or your course you are more likely to feel stressed. For instance if you hate mathematics, chances are that you would feel stressed in a maths class. But if you love it, you would feel energized.
I think life is too short to be doing what you don’t want to do. You might have to do it for a while but rather than complain about how much you hate it, create a plan on how to to get where you want. Make sure your plan is solid and be prepared for the worst.
We have power over most things that happen to us. We just have to look inwards to search within ourselves for answers and strength.
If you don’t like something, change it.
Stress comes in different forms. It could be external or internal. It could be as a result of the things people do to us or the things we do to ourselves.
In the last few months, I have found that the major way to reduce stress is taking charge of your life. When you let life push you around a lot, you lose yourself.
I hope that you found this article helpful. If you did, please leave a comment below.