Stress is evident in our everyday lives. For a lot of us, it’s simply become part of our workday. Another daily routine like getting lunch or our morning coffee.
But what happens when you become addicted to this stress? When you can’t get through the day without that buzz of energy. We spoke to Stress Management Coach Shane Pearson to get his advice on acknowledging and dealing with stress addiction.
According to Shane, most working adults are becoming accustomed to a moderate level of stress in today’s workplace. While we can still function at this level, it’s not optimum for health or performance, especially in the long run.
In fact, some people even find this level of stress enjoyable thanks to the rush of adrenaline and excitement they feel when they are engaged in it.
Shane explains this further stating that.
”In the early stages stress can be quite enjoyable. It’s like a rollercoaster. We pay to go on a rollercoaster, we pay to watch a scary movie or intense drama because it gives us an adrenaline rush. Adrenaline in the short term can make us feel good but in the long term it can have less of a positive effect and more of a negative effect unless you rest or recover.”
If you’re an adrenaline junkie then you may seek out the rush of stress. You may instinctively be creating high-pressure situations for yourself. So, how do you break out of the cycle? Well, it’s not always easy but thankfully Shane has some tips.
”You will be doing it subconsciously so the best thing is to look back at your behaviour over time and review the last week or maybe the last month. Assess your behaviour and how you responded to events and start to become more aware of yourself.”
It’s much easier to identify a pattern by looking back on previous behaviour. Have you purposely created stress in your life? Are your bad habits causing stress? Accepting these truths will help you to move forward.
”Acknowledge if it is affecting you in a negative way. In the short term, it’s a good feeling but if we do it often then we will wear ourselves out. If you’re feeling run down, worn out, or you have less energy, review the past and see if there’s a pattern there. That could be a contributing factor to how you’re feeling right now. If you need to get your energy back you may need to review whether it’s still serving you.”
You may be asking yourself why you need to nip your stress addiction in the bud, especially if it is helping you to power through your work. Well, the answer is pretty serious, your health.
”The research is showing that stress is a contributing factor to a large amount of chronic disease. It’s quite scary. Play it out. If you continue doing what you’re doing, where will you end up? If you’re running at a moderate level of stress it’s not sustainable so you have to think about consequences like burnout. You are responsible for your wellness, no one else.”