Micro-stressors: The Silent Stress Majorly Impacting Your Mental Health
I want you to love the way that you look and feel and to finally get the results that you want and that you deserve. That is why we are tackling stress today! Specifically, a sneaky kind of stress called micro-stress.
Stress is probably one of the factors preventing you from getting the results that you want. When you're stressed it's easy to feel like you don't have any extra time or energy in order to fit in a workout or to make healthy, nourishing food options. On top of that, stress really messes up your hormones! The result? As a protective mechanism it tells your body to hang on to any extra body fat for dear life. None of that is really setting you up for success.
But there's good news! When you do start working on stress management and coming up with techniques that work for you, you are going
to finally start getting the results that you want. Let's start small...with micro-stress.
What are micro-stressors?
Micro-stressors are little seemingly inconsequential (but stressful) things that start to slowly accumulate through the day without you really realizing it. And yet, when something seemingly small occurs - like spilling your coffee or dropping something - suddenly you lose it because that was just the tip of your stress iceberg.
Micro-stressors can also be the reason why, even if you didn't have one major stressful event, you're just feeling completely burnt out, irritable, exhausted, or overwhelmed. That's because there have been tons of little things that you've had to deal with all day long that are draining your energy and putting you in this stressed out state.
Here are some examples:
- Your alarm clock going off in the morning
- Looking at your phone and seeing tons of unread emails
- Driving during your commute and having somebody cut you off
- Remembering there's an appointment you really do need to schedule, but you just haven't had time
- Clutter that you constantly see and that you keep meaning to deal with...at some point
All of those things don't really seem like a big deal, and yet they're really having a huge impact on your mental state without you realizing! The good news is, even if you just start to be aware of those micro-stressors, that's a first huge step in feeling so much more in control. Once you identify those little doses of stress, then you can decide which ones are in your power to eliminate.
Life Boost Challenge:
I want you to start being more mindful of the small things during your day that are just a little bit unpleasant or stressful for you. Keep a list this week anytime you notice a micro-stressor.
Next week, look through that list and think about which items you can address and fix. Here are some examples:
- If there is a mess in your office, take 10 to 30 minutes to pick that up so that it's not continuing to stress you out all week long.
- If there is an appointment you keep meaning to make, come up with a time and day that you are going to finally schedule that dentist appointment.
- If you tend to get frustrated when driving, start being more mindful of those moments and be proactive about creating a more positive mindset.
Let's talk about the driving example in a little more detail! It's super irritating when somebody cuts you off when you're driving, right? Often, it feels personal. But here's an important thing to remember: when you continue to fume about a negative event like that, the only person getting punished is you. The person who cut you off has no idea that you're still upset! You have the power to decide if you want to let a small bump in your day ruin your mood, or if you want to just take a deep breath, let it go, and move on. A positive mindset is like a muscle: the more you flex it and practice, the easier and more automatic it will become.
Micro-Stress To Macro-Results
The more that you can become aware of and eliminate the micro-stressors in your life, the more you'll start noticing a huge boost in your energy level, mood, and an overall sense of control. Those positive changes can have a really amazing snowball effect to start making other healthy, nourishing changes!
- Maybe you do have a little bit of energy to go for a short walk after work!
- Maybe you decide to start your day with a really nourishing breakfast!
- Maybe you suddenly wake up feeling more well-rested because you're no longer having trouble falling asleep at night!
All of this is possible for you. Big changes start small. Make sure to do this Life Boost Challenge (no matter how busy you are). What's a micro-stressor that you can eliminate this week?
Do you feel your high-achieving, people-pleasing lifestyle is catching up with you? Sign up for my newsletter for weekly reminders to take time for you and for tips on how to work with your body and mind for sustainable health and success!