The subtle art of stressing out

. 2 min read

We've talked about stress here on WIP before and how a little stress can be a good thing. It drives you forward. It makes you work harder and give your all. It pushes you to the limit of you abilities, and beyond. How could that not be a good thing?

Turns out that you can have an underlying stress in your life that stops you from ever relaxing completely. It could be about health, or finances, or family, or any other aspect of your life that's causing you a little stress at all times. Chances are you don't even realize it; and all awhile it's munching on the foundations of your mental health.

Are you irritable? Do you dread the thought of the new week, despite the fact that you know you love what you do? Do you feel like a rubber band that's being pulled a little, constantly, without the puller ever letting go?

Answering to those questions might help you find out if you have an underlying stress source, and what it is. Or not. Trying to imagine yourself as a rubber band may not lead you anywhere else besides down Aggravatingly Irritated Road.

What you can do, in a more practical way and using words that actually mean something, is to try to draw a mental picture of a stranger that has the same life as you. They can even resemble you physically but have a different name so you know it isn't you. Become that person's therapist - make them talk to you about their life and what problems they might be having and eventually, what's stressing them out.

Are they concerned about unemployment? Unfulfilled potential? Not spending their time optimally? Are they worried about family members, or what others think of them? Do they have health issues? Do they think some issues are causing other issues?

I know this sounds awfully metaphorical - especially after I specifically said it wouldn't be - but the psychology of the tenchnique is that you're projecting yourself to the stranger so they're basically telling you stuff about yourself. You might not get super deep into your problems if you don't believe in the tenchnique, but you'll find out something.

Just try it. What do you have to lose?