How to Tell if You're in a Stress Rut - and what to do if you are

Jerry Kennard Health Pro
  • If you could take something back from your past week what would it be? Some particularly stressful event perhaps? A difficult moment with a colleague? Perhaps you'd be a little more bold in some situation, take longer over something, relax a bit more? Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but how many of us really reflect on our negative experiences and use these as a tool for positive change?


    Stress can hang around a person like a very unwelcome guest that simply won't leave. It can make the person jumpy, irritable and tired. Stress itself then becomes a major preoccupation. Just ‘getting by' becomes a personal goal, getting to the weekend an achievement in its own right. But then normal activities can seem exhausting. Often, you're so tired after your day or week at work that all you want to do is flop in front of the TV, have a few drinks maybe, go to bed. For far too many people just getting by seems to be their default position.

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    Getting stuck in a rut with stress is easy. Losing track of your life balance is one of the symptoms of stress. Getting out of the stress rut may take a little effort and may even feel a bit uncomfortable but it can be done. What results may not lead to a cure for stress, but relief from symptoms is always welcome and sometimes that's what counts.


    So, getting back to the original question, what would you take back from your previous week if you could? Alright, we know you can't, but it's not as fanciful a question as it may appear. Reflecting on the balance of your past week is a good way of preparing for the next. It's a form of proactive thinking which, if regularly undertaken, can begin to shift the balance from unfulfilling to fulfilling activities. Maybe there isn't so much you can do to change some activities but what do you do as a counter-measure? How often do you make deliberate decisions about the places or the people you'd like to see?


    The first step to change is recognizing you're in a rut. If your concerns focus on just getting through the next week, believe me, you're in a rut. So, why not try think about the changes you might have made to last week? Use these as a way of avoiding the things you don't want to happen next week, and replace them with things that could put a little spark of interest back.


Published On: July 22, 2011