Full of verve you start your project. The fire of enthusiasm burns brightly in you, you enjoy the pleasant tension of the new and unknown, which spreads in every cell of your body. At last, you think, at last I can start acting, at last I can change something in my life. You have wanted to develop yourself for so long, you want to take the next step, give your life a new direction.
Eustress - You are on fire!
You are so proud of yourself that you have had the courage to really start making a difference. You feel under pressure, full of energybut at the same time carefree - the work on your project, the work on yourself does not burden you, it drives you. Welcome to the so-called Eustress!
Your environment: The thunder gods at your visionary Olympus
And so you work cheerfully in the here and now on your glorious vision of the future, tinkering lovingly by hand with your own path in life, which should take you to where you have wished to go for so long. And yes, through your busy "doing things, doing things" you will achieve first results - in your thinking, in your feeling, in your acting.
But slowly, very slowly, dark clouds sneak up on your colourful visionary sky, coming closer and closer, at first unnoticed by you, but then - all of a sudden - it breaks over you: The thunderous, roaring thunderstorm of others, of critics, of "Yeah, but" people. Adieu, you beautiful eustress and welcome Stress.
The opposite of "good" is "well-meant"
The others, your environment, they inundate you with well-intentioned questions and advice about your plans, your life, your humanity. They sense the change, see the change in your life, in your personality and react in an evolutionary-biologically completely appropriate way Worries, fears and doubts. However, your critics usually wrap them up in pretty, colorful wrapping paper, put a nice ribbon on top and serve you their well-intentioned advice, tips and ideas for improvement garnished with the seeds of Self-doubtwhich they scatter - mostly completely unintentionally - into your little happiness.
Please stay in the hamster wheel
There is the worried mother who is full of worry because you just want to quit your secure job and start something completely new. There is the best friend who lovingly takes you aside and asks you if everything is really all right, because he hardly recognizes you anymore. There is your partner who tells you his fears in a conversation because he notices that you are somehow growing apart. There are other people who do what they always do and are now really seriously insecure that you just want to steal your way out of the hamster wheel.
The Disstress Symphony, first act: How you do it all right
Now the following usually happens: The closer your own relationship is to the person from your environment, who usually bangs his own worries, fears, doubts and uncertainties unasked, the more you tend to question yourself and your current actions.
- What am I doing? Is this really right?
- Is my mommy right? Is what my best friend says true?
- Have I really changed that much? Is that good? Is that bad?
- Am I likely to lose my partner if I continue? Do I think, feel or act wrong?
Welcome to the Symphony of self-doubtplayed by the orchestra of your environment. A disharmonic thought-concert and you sit in the first row. That causes stress, that burdens you, that takes away your strength bit by bit. Because at this moment you would like to do everything you can: continue to follow your own path in life, make your parents proud, don't disappoint your friends, don't lose your partner. You want to please everybody and now you try to take up the advice and criticism, to implement the tips and ideas of others.
In doing so, you will always encounter obstacles, somehow all the puzzle pieces do not fit together. You are faced with a seemingly unsolvable task and this now creates a STRESS. An energy thief that threatens to smother your fire, drawing ugly graffiti with deep black paint on the barely gleaming painting of your future.
I never found the egg-laying wool-milk sow or the holy grail
STOP. First of all: Your plan to please everyone, including yourself, will NOT succeed. Simple. Too many contradictory and thus mutually exclusive conditions for you and your life path. Does not work.
Believe me, I've tried to do this enough times in my life. In the end, I failed every time. Mostly to my own sorrow, so that everyone else could be minimally satisfied. I thought. But they weren't. Even then, there were voices that knew a little better. Who expected something else from me, some shouted for more assertiveness on my part, others wanted me to finally understand what my behaviour meant for person XY, I had to be a bit more tolerant. It doesn't stop no matter how hard you try.
Now how do you bring harmony where disharmony rages? How can you take away the pressure, the stress, the burden now without offending everyone else or giving up your dreams and goals?
No false promises
I cannot promise you harmony. But I can offer you a strategy, a "roadmap" with which you can meet your critics, your environment in such situations in the future. I don't know which stations you will reach with this timetable.
I can only tell you that in this way, at least during the wards of stress, strain and pressure, I no longer hammer the "Please stop, I want to get off here!" button every time full of naivety and then wonder why I gradually run out of energy for myself and what is really important to me. Maybe you too can use this timetable to explore a new route and in the long run create space for Reduce stress from the voices of others in your life.
Take it easy with the young horses
Always check the reality of what the other person is telling you first. The best way to do this is to food for thought take. You may demand this time very directly, for example by giving the other person the feedback: "I heard what you said. And I know that you surely mean well. Please give me some time to think about it."
In this way your counterpart feels perceived and accepted in his assessment of your behaviour. At the same time, you do not offer a target for further advice or hostility and you give your mind the opportunity to process what you have heard first. You fill the time you have gained in this way with high quality questions to yourself:
- Is it true what this person reported back to me? Is there a kernel of truth in the statement?
- Can I take something from this feedback for myself? What can I learn?
- Is there anything I could change so that it would still be right for me?
The power of the change of perspective
Try to put yourself in the position of the other person. Immerse yourself in his perspective, his world of experience, his feelings and his basic assumptions about life as it should be. Understand the WHY of the criticism expressed, ideally you can actually tell your counterpart about the Reasons for his criticism ask. If things are going even better - and this should be possible especially with parents, close friends and your own partner, but experience shows that it is not always the case - then ask the other person for constructive proposalhow you can work on the behavior he criticized.
You may receive really good advice that will help you move forward in the long run. However, it is also possible that this person only wants to "small" - Should this be the case, make yourself aware once again that his behaviour is also controlled by his own patterns of thinking, feeling and acting, which he may not even be fully aware of.
War inside or outside creates stress and prevents your peace
Now if you have succeeded in understanding why the other person said this or that, there is one more little thing you should definitely NOT do: Do not exaggerate yourself and do not judge other people for what they think, feel and do. If you fall into thought patterns such as "I'm better than him anyway" or "I know better anyway", then you inwardly close your door to appreciating the diversity of life perspectives.
Accept your differencebut do not use it to make yourself better or feel better. Don't fight back with the same weapons, don't judge people based on the changes, behaviors or views you perceive in them. Because striking back means using weapons. Weapons mean war, and war can and will never be the way to bring about long-term inner peace, inner peace and relaxation.
This article is a guest contribution from Pia Schäfer
I am Pia, always fascinated by being human with all its facets of thinking, feeling and acting. Professionally I work with people from the autism spectrum and every day I encounter the sometimes wonderful, sometimes fascinating, sometimes overwhelming variety of life and experience.
With all the knowledge I have acquired over the past few years, I still find that I don't really know anything. I believe from my own experience that we can think ourselves happy and live my change - every day. For daily inspiration I am looking forward to Instagram follow. Got it good!