I have gotten into the habit of working on my computer in the early morning hours before I shower and get ready for work. I work very well at that time of day, particularly with writing projects. The down side of that habit is that I have a really hard time making myself stop with enough time to get my morning grooming done. I’m not a procrastinator by nature, but I procrastinate about getting off the computer. Part of the problem is that I have such a high need for closure that I keep trying to finish things I’m working on. Then I run around like a wild woman at the last minute getting ready to leave home with sufficient time to get to my first appointment. Today it occurred to me that my habit is causing me to feel stressed, and that’s no way to start my day!
Stress has been identified as a major factor in illness and aging. Some stressors are difficult to do anything about, like the economy, pollution, and political unrest. But, today I became really conscious of the fact that I am one source of the stress I have been experiencing. I can do something about that stress!
Here are some other ways I create stress in my life:
- I put off filling my gas tank until it’s almost empty. The remedy for that would be to make it my practice to treat the 1/4 tank level as empty and fill up when I reach that level.
- I sometimes assume I know the location of a client’s home without checking well in advance to see if I am really correct in my thinking. Then, when I’m wrong I am scrambling around at the last minute.
- I have a hunch that a client might cancel and don’t call to confirm the appointment. So often my sixth sense is correct and the client has either forgotten the appointment or cancels at the last minute. That late cancellation leaves me with no option to fill the time slot with another paying client.
- I put off talking to my husband about a difficult issue or decision and feel unsettled and anxious in anticipation of that conversation.
I could find more examples, but you get the point. I have been causing my own stress! If I cause it, I can eliminate it! I’m in charge of my actions! So, starting Monday I commit to getting off the computer a full half hour before I have to leave the house. Once I’ve created a new habit with my morning routine, I’ll tackle the gas tank issue.
In what ways are you creating your own stress? Are you avoiding dealing with the avalanche of paper coming into your home on a daily basis? Are you leaving your house in a mess when you leave for work in the morning? Do you run late for all your appointments? The good news is that if you cause it you can stop it! Go for it! Address one self-imposed stressor at a time and reclaim a life of peace and pleasure!