A lot of stress balls are needed

Dr. Tara Narula on CBS Morning News cited a statistic today from Workforce Initiative that 64% of people feel stressed at work. In an earlier survey, the American Psychological Association noted the following about stress:

“63% – The percentage of Americans who say the future of the nation is a significant source of stress. That’s higher than the percentage who are stressed about money (62 percent), work (61 percent), or violence and crime (51 percent).”

We are a stressed out nation. I actually think these numbers understate the extensiveness of stress, it just may be some folks have been able to put lids on the simmering pots.

I believe stress levels have increased by the divisiveness in our country and a highly contentious president where too many things become issues, when they need not be. He did not create division, but he exploits and perpetuates it on a regular basis. He truly wears me out.

So, what can we do about it? First, we need to disconnect more from our social and work media. On the latter, companies like you working off the clock on their behalf. If you cannot quit cold turkey, manage your activity in set pockets of time. As I told a colleague, it does not impress me that you sent an email at 10:30 pm. Disconnect and take some down time.

As for social media, please recognize when you look at Facebook, Instagram, etc., you are seeing the Sunday dressed version of a person’s life. They tend to post the polished versions of what is happening. They tend not to share the warts that they hide from the public. I recognize some folks over share, but I don’t want to be that aware of another’s life, as you may overreact when it is not wanted or needed.

Second, we need to better govern our news sources. I am guilty of this, but need reduce the hours of watching and reading and focus on reputable sources. I do focus on better sources, but often over-indulge. Watching so-called experts shout at each other is not news. Watch shows that let people talk civilly. Watching night time talk show hosts or high-volume online hosts is not news, it is opinion disguised as news. And, read and watch news that state when they get it wrong.

Third, here are two additional rules of thumb. Be careful of getting news from public figures. Before 24×7 segmented news sources, politicians used to campaign off rhetoric and govern off facts. Now, far too many govern off rhetoric. And, take anything the president says or tweets with a grain of salt. Not only is he noted to be very untruthful by several data sources and former associates, he self-professes a preference not to study issues, bragging on his gut instinct. So, he is not a very good source of news.

Fourth, find healthy, sustainable outlets for stress management and avoidance. The word sustainable is as important as healthy. We are creatures of habits, so we should replace a stress causing habit with a stress reducing one. Doing a walk, jog, yoga, pilates, workout or meditation need not be too time intrusive to help. Or, it could be reading a book or magazine or watching a favorite show.

Stress abounds and there are not enough stress balls. But, before we succumb to that stress, remember the words of advice from Mister Rogers – you do not have to be sensational to be loved.

9 thoughts on “A lot of stress balls are needed

  1. Note to Readers: An addendum that may help reduce stress is to discount the arguments of anyone who name calls or labels people. These are short cuts that often obfuscate a poor argument. A corrolary to this addendum is the higher position of the name caller is more indicative of a weak argument. The fact the president is a prolific name caller speaks volumes.

  2. Note to Readers: Voting with your feet is a key lever to reducing stress, yet sometimes it must be deployed in varying degrees. If you have an overbearing acquajntance, a way to reduce stress is to avoid or lessen contact. Placing an artificial or real exit time is beneficial, to ending a one-sided converstion.

    If such person is a work colleague, this may be more difficult. I have shared before, I greatly lessened stress by not going to a lunch with a narcissistic person. I just did not want to hear him running down colleagues, knowing full well he would be running me down behind my back. That is what Trump sycophants fail to understand – he is running them down behind their backs. I have read this from two separate sources that know Trump.

    So, minimize or avoid contact with stressful people. I try not to watch the president live because of his juvenile name-calling and lying. To me, it us stressful as I ask how people cannot see the obvious.

  3. Every male is naturally equipped with 2 stress balls. I would advise to squeeze harder, guaranteed to take the mind off any other source of stress within seconds. The alternative of course is to become self empowered but that’s usually asking for too much!

    • Linda, my guess is there is a causal relationship for many on this. The person’s inability to handle the stress heads them spiraling down a path. Anxiety, paranoia and depression can flavor how a person’s views stress, sometimes seeing problems where they don’t exist. Keith

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