Stress is a Matter of Perception, not of Time – 20 May 10

New York
United States of America

I have been writing about stress and many people actually define stress as a lack of time for due tasks. That means that you have many things to do but don’t have the time for all of them, that is why you hurry to make everything either at once or in shorter time.

It is however not really time that makes stress, it is only your perception. This is how not everybody feels stressed in the same situations. You put yourself under pressure of having to achieve something. For you it might be very important to clean the whole house before your mother-in-law will arrive and you get stressed while hovering, cleaning the windows and doing the laundry whereas your husband is fully relaxed even though he maybe does his best to help you. He doesn’t get stressed because for him it is not as important as it is for you.

Another example: you are running late for a business meeting. It is an important business partner whom you will meet for the first time. But now you are stuck in traffic. You get hectic, honk around, try to find another way and maybe even get lost a little bit before you finally arrive, ten minutes late, at the restaurant on which you agreed as a meeting place. And this only to find out that your business partner is not there yet. He walks in another five minutes later and says ‘Wow, you are already here? I got fully stuck in that traffic jam out there! Sorry for being late.’ You will need to admire how calm he is about being late.

Think about it: was it really worth the stress? It is only your perception, you create the stress yourself! Your business partner also gets late sometimes and your mother-in-law might not even see the dust. And even if she sees it, what will happen? You need to get more relaxed and have fewer expectations on yourself. Even for things that are important, you should look forward more than you are anxious. You will only exhaust yourself with stress and you will not do anything faster or better when being stressed.

5 Replies to “Stress is a Matter of Perception, not of Time – 20 May 10”

  1. Haha, I know that situation! Each time we visit my dear hubby’s family (and mother), I panic about what I should wear, if my hair is nice and so many things while Matt goes in his most comfortable pants and the old shirt…I think after reading your diary I should work on relaxing my attitude a bit… but I am not sure if I can ignore her remarks about stains on my shoes, how some people (I) should wear longer skirts and surely not colour their hair blonde…will definitely be a challenge!

  2. Sabrina, just be yourself! I know that especially with family it may be difficult because you want others to like you and be your friends.But also your mother in law will have some things in common – if nothing else, your love to your husband/her son!
    So relax, she is family and also just human!

  3. All of these diary entries about stress really speak to me because I have been known to stress out! I love how you mention making light of things in life. I tend to make such a big deal of things in my mind and put pressure on myself in many ways. It’s really a burden because it’s hard to enjoy situations when everything isn’t perfect. When I was in school, I would be very stressed about an assignment or test, while other students in my class would be enjoying themselves and partying. I couldn’t understand their easy-going attitude. In the end, I would get great grades on the assignment or test, and the easy-going students often wouldn’t…but I ask myself now, was it really worth it?? Did that grade matter enough to control my mind and my life? Looking back, I think definitely not. Stress is never worth much of anything. Almost any situation can be mended if you just relax, take it easy, and follow your heart. Although I’m not in school anymore, I passionately desire to work on this aspect of my mind so that I don’t stress out forever!

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