One perfect day can be turned upside down, messed up, and flooded with worries. No schedules, no trigger warnings. When stress says hello, it’s like an avalanche of emotions rushing and eating all the logical and rational thinking left in you. When this happens, how do you regain your composure? Or do you let it conquer you?
We hope not.
Rise above the avalanche. In this post, we’ll enumerate helpful questions to ask when stressed. These simple questions will help you win against the gnawing feelings—because life is too short to be eaten by the stress monster!
1. Are These My Emotions or I’m Merely Absorbing Other’s Feelings?
It’s human nature to be sympathetic. And in the process of understanding other people’s situations, we sometimes become a shock absorber—soaking into their pool of problems. When stress strikes, it’s important to ask yourself whether the root of your worries is yours or others’.
Figure out how much of the anxiety you’re experiencing comes from other people’s problems. Perhaps you’re under secondhand stress and are already carrying too much of their woes. The ability to empathize and help is commendable. However, you should be aware of when to draw the line to protect your peace. You can still extend help without taking in too much of the mental challenge. Be careful not to overwork yourself in trying to carry everyone’s burdens. You need to rest, too.
2. How is Stress Affecting Me?
Try to be mindful of the manifestations of stress in your day-to-day life. Take note of these signs that you might experience while under pressure:
- Short temperament and irritability
- Decreased energy
- Loss of interest
- Change in appetite
- Breathing problems
- Body pain
Assess yourself and find out if you’re experiencing any of the warning signs. The earlier you recognize these symptoms, the faster you can crawl out of the stress bubble. Seeing how dangerous and harmful these manifestations are will push you harder to take action and do something about it. If you’re a busy working professional, then it’s also a good idea to keep stress-relief products in your workstation to keep the above-mentioned signs at bay.
3. Is This Something Within My Control?
With a lot of things happening around us, it’s impossible to be in control at all times. Be kind to yourself—our two hands can only handle so much.
When you’re starting to feel a little under the weather, one of the good questions to ask when stressed is how much of the situation is actually under your control. It’s rewarding to be able to pinpoint the parts of the problem that you can do something about.
Furthermore, if things are way beyond your grasp, then it’s time to step back and let go. There’s no point in stressing over things that we can never change. Aside from it will keep us from moving forward, it will only leave us with less time to fix other issues that are within our power.
4. What Are My Priorities?
Sometimes, issues and problems arise simultaneously and our headspaces start to feel cramped. Stress has the habit of eating our time and attention that we start to lose sight of what’s important.
When this happens, realign your thoughts by recalling your priorities. What are your goals? Will this newly risen problem affect your plans in any way? Will worrying help you achieve your priorities?
Try giving yourself a little pep talk in front of the mirror detailing your ambitions and aspirations. By doing this, you will have a clear view of your goals and a more focused mind. Concentrate on them harder and gradually shy away from the negative things that cloud your thoughts. You’ll start to feel calm again once you re-adjust your focus on the things or people important to you.
5. What Are the Possible Solutions to My Problems?
This is one of the clever questions to ask when stressed. It gets your mind past the worrying stage and on to the solving mode instantly. This question triggers the need to address the problem rather than dwell on it.
List down your concerns and the things you can do to solve them. Go through it one by one and assess which is the best course of action. This method gives you a sense of empowerment and authority over your problems. The thought of having several solutions to the problems at hand takes off the power from stress to control your emotions. Instead, you will feel lighter and more composed. Having problems, after all, is not the end of your world.
6. Would a Healthy Distraction Help?
Certain situations are better handled after taking a break. Sometimes, it’s okay to park your worries and indulge in healthy distractions like watching your favorite series or cutting on your social media usage. You can also turn to your hobbies or reach out to people you trust.
Ask yourself if there are things you can do at the moment that will help you feel better. Then, do it—with no guilt and no inhibitions. Whether it’s as mundane as grocery shopping or as extravagant as booking a quick getaway tour, the decision is up to you. And no one shall dare judge you for that. Besides, when you’re feeling stressed, odds are you’re already being too hard on yourself. Maybe you’ve been trying to juggle several tasks, or taking on too many responsibilities at once. The least you can do is to allow yourself to breathe. You deserve a break, too.
You Got This!
You will face lots of challenges every day—problems and situations that seem too difficult to solve. It’s inevitable to drown in feelings of pressure. Ask yourself these questions when stressed, and see that instead of drowning, you can also ride the waves. In no time, you’ll reach the shore triumphantly with fewer worries and more happiness in your heart.