Monday, August 25, 2008

Stress Points

Experts say that the big stress-inducers in life are:
  • Bereavement
  • Relocating
  • New job
  • Illness of a close relative

Amazingly, in my experience, many, possibly even most, people breeze through these experiences without needing to be signed off work excessively. Humans cope.

What I think insufficient work has been done on is the cumulative effect of mini-stresses. You can probably cope with a car break down, a broken window, a visit from an unpopular relative, a busy week at work and a niggling back ache. Separately. Receive them all together and it is hard to find respite from things that are problems. Everywhere you look you find something not quite right.

Take a piece of paper and allocate a score against all the things that are stressing you right now on a scale where bereavement etc scores 10. You may feel, in the light of this, that the broken window is only worth 0.5 but you can soon see that twenty little things like this will feel as stressful as a major event.

I'm not sure I yet have a full solution as to what to do about it but at least it may help you to understand why you feel like you feel.

5 comments:

RuthJ said...

Then, too, the categories overlap. Relocate and start a new job, and you have two bereavements already even though no one may have died. Move to a new church or badminton club or whatever as part of the same experience and that's another bereavement too. Or just have everyone around you relocate ...

It's handy to have a God in whome there is 'no shadow of turning', but even he springs surprises. Amazing how we all survive!

RuthJ said...

That's whom, not whome. Surely there's some way of removing one's own typos?

Diana said...

st I think you are right, mini-stresses can certainly mount up to be the equivalent of a major stress. The start of the solution is maybe, just as you say, accepting that stress is is accumulative.

Martin said...

Wasn't this part of a new wine talk just over a year ago?

St said...

Yes Martin. Sorry to be repetitive but I think it's important.

And sorry Ruth but once you've published your comment you are stuck with your typos on Blogger.

Just see it as an occasional garbled word when you are talking quickly. No-one seems to mind in comment sections.