The red flags of stress
June 19, 2012
The Red Flags of Stress
It’s a fact of life that failure precedes success. Very few of us accomplish what we set out to do the very first time. It’s ironic that there is often a small difference between an endeavor that fails and the one that succeeds. It could be said that failure and success are two sides of the same experience and that both give rise to a multitude of stresses.
Stress is like fear in that it is part of life, no one is immunized against it. One kind of stress is energizing, but another kind is depleting. As stresses of an unimaginable variety and intensity have bloomed across the planet, it might be well to look at some different kinds and how they can be nipped in the bud or pruned to beneficial effect.
Anxiety comes from an excessive need for being taken care of by something or someone else. It can distort into a sense of entitlement, which we see in those who have become or always been disenfranchised. The welfare class is an example of this. The downward spiral into destructive anxiety can manifest as an obsession with “what if” scenarios that interrupt the normal flow of life. These can confuse one’s sense of personal responsibility, quest for knowledge and mastery, practical initiative and control over one’s life. It lowers the standards of personal experience, self expression, self sufficiency and higher functioning.
Distrust is the unwillingness to have contact and comes from the strong desire to avoid risks, real or imagined. It comes from the core self’s experience and self image. It manifests as criticism, fearfulness, indecision and procrastination. Normal duties and events can loom as far more consequential than they really are. Chronic distrust can lead to inappropriate responses that run the gamut from interference to paralysis. Relationship and work responsibilities that involve multiple attempts can be internalized as failures instead of simply experiments, steps or tests.
Prolonged dissatisfaction can scatter one’s force and block action. It can lead to feelings of being doomed to failure, destined for unhappiness, frustrated, unlucky and out of control. Even people who are not superstitious can fall prey to feelings of being jinxed or supernaturally thwarted. Pathological dissatisfaction is often acted by re-running events in the mind of what one believes were their greatest losses and worst mistakes. This can persist to the point that they are pulled completely off-course and self-destruct. When this happens, they will blame circumstances for their predicament and continue to invest their energies in self degrading habits, mental and physical.
Hostility tends to follow and be fed by the same mental habits as dissatisfaction. When it gets out of control, it can lead to outright aggression through which one can inflict terrible wounds on loved ones, coworkers and one’s self. Hostility can manifest as verbal assaults, unhealthy competition, uponemanship, unrealistic goals, unprovoked aggression, bullying and sabotage. Careers can be ruined, relationships ended and families traumatized by interpersonal hostility.
Tomorrow: three more stresses and how to manage them.
Connecting the dots towards discernment for a better world.
Content copyright (c) Anna Moss unless otherwise indicated FIRST REPRINT RIGHTS ALLOWED WITH ATTRIBUTION ALL OTHER RIGHTS RESERVED Image copyrights retained by their originators. Images shared for educational purposes as allowed by Fair Use, Section 107, US Copyright Act 1976