Updated: Apr 13, 2021
3 Tips to Reverse Engineer Your Stress
This term “reverse engineering” comes from the manufacturing world meaning “to examine the construction or composition of another manufacturer's product in order to create a duplicate or similar product. We can reverse engineer a lot of things, including your stress.
Let’s redefine this term as it relates to your stress: “examining the composition of your stress in order to destroy the product (the stress).” Now, we will never get rid of stress, however, we can certainly reduce its effect on us
“We will never get rid of stress, however, we can certainly reduce its effect on us.”
Let’s talk about 3 ways we can do this.
1. Increase your own awareness about what has been creating the stress. We cannot change things that we never knew existed. So, the first step is to start creating a journal or diary of daily tasks/emotions/circumstances. This will give your clues about your next steps.
2. Evaluate your findings. Once you have started tracking your day to day life, you can start to put pieces together.
For instance, if I notice my stress levels go up significantly when I am around certain people, I might ask…why? If I notice avoidance and then guilt arise when my mother calls, do I have a fear she is going to ask for something I do not want to or am not willing to do and therefor I might disappoint or anger her? Have I noticed something biological? Is my sleep or eating off? These are things to think about.
Make a list of what you find.
3. Learn from your newfound knowledge. After you’ve evaluated your findings, how are you going to adjust? This might be a difficult question and maybe an even a more difficult answer. It might mean you need to ask someone else to help you figure out what you need to do, like a trusted friend, family member or therapist.
If you have noticed that your sleep is off, you might need to do an online search for sleep hygiene ideas or make an appointment for a sleep study. If you have noticed work is a HUGE stressor, you might need to think about how to change this. Do you need to have a conversation with your boss or a coworker? Do you need to ask for a raise or a different workload? Or do you need to change jobs? No matter what it is, you need to do SOMETHING or things are NOT going to change.
You have a choice
You have a choice today – to keep doing things the way you have always done them or to do something different. This choice may not just CHANGE your stress, it can CHANGE your life.
If you are looking for more tips on reverse engineering and changing your stress, contact me at Terra@LifewithLessStress.com.