Who you are when you’re stressed

Stress gets a bad rap, but it’s just our body’s way of marshalling resources so that we can better tackle something we care about.

Having said that, it can have a huge impact on almost every aspect of our person:

  • how we act
  • how we feel
  • how we move
  • how we communicate
  • how we sleep

and even

  • how we look

It can also impact any or all of these areas before we’re even aware that we’re feeling stressed.

Maybe our pace quickens and we frown more or we talk faster and become dismissive.

Whatever the specific impact, it affects each of us differently and not always in the most flattering ways.

It’s worth getting to know our stressed selves and learning how to recognise them when they arrive.

I guarantee that our families, co-workers and friends could all describe the stressed versions of us in fine detail – so it’s pretty daft that sometimes we’re the only ones who can’t spot them.

This recognition is important for two key reasons:

  1. Recognising our stressed selves might be the first sign that we’re under pressure. That our bodies is responding to something important that we’re not yet consciously aware of.
  2. Our stressed selves might not be the most caring, compassionate version of ourselves, and we might want to reign them in before they wrecks havoc on our relationships.

Stress can be a positive force for getting stuff done and helping us to tackle the life’s big challenges. But we need to make sure that the person stress can turn us into doesn’t go on a bridge-burning campaign which sabotages everything outside of the task we’re focussed on.