Why is meditation and gratitude journaling not helping my stress?

Meditation and gratitude journaling are’nt working for you because you lack clarity on the behaviors you’re engaging in that are causing your stress. In today’s culture, work is the center of everyone’s life, thus the number one cause of stress in your life. Work comes before health, relationships, and fun, among many other things. When you’re not working, all you thoughts are consumed with work. Now that you’re working remotely, stress has amplified because you now live where you work.

Experiencing stress and burnout in your work life didn’t happen overnight. You’ve bought into the lifestyle the day you started working until it became a way of life and something you can’t control.

The best way to handle your stress is to get specific on what’s stressing you out.

Here are a few tips to gain clarity.

Evaluate how you got here.

The feeling of being stressed and burned out is also accompanied by feeling lack of control over your life. Nothing can be further from the truth. You are overlooking the fact that your choices led you to your current situation. To determine how you got here, spend time reflecting.

Ask yourself questions such as:

What belief did I ascribe to that lead me to work this hard and caring this much about work?

Did I set an expectation that I am available whenever someone needs me?

Do I have boundaries?

What am I giving up by giving so much time toward my job?

What am I gaining aside from a paycheck to spend so much time working?

The idea is to get clear how you’ve gotten to the point that working hard and letting others decide how you spend your time is acceptable.

Reframe your expectations.

Your expectations are stressing out. Expecting you’ll earn respect from the higher-ups is causing your stress. First of all, you will not earn respect by burning yourself out; taking this action will earn you more work. Reframe your expectations to say that you’re working hard because you want more work experience or genuinely want to solve a problem. Wanting respect from higher-ups is a superficial expectation. Additionally, you can’t control how others view you.

Get clear on the expectations you’ve set for yourself by asking the following questions:

Am I expecting job security as a result of working this hard?

Am I expecting to be viewed favorably by my co-workers?

Am I expecting a promotion as a result of working this hard?

After you’ve evaluated your expectations, ask yourself how you developed this expectation and is it a reasonable expectation to have. If you discover it’s not a reasonable expectation, you’ve found the root cause of your stress.

See your challenges as lessons.

You are stressed and burned out because you’re going through a challenge. The stress you feel is a sign that something needs to change. I would be willing to guess that the change you need to make is putting up boundaries or speaking up. Your stress is coming from feeling disempowered. Once you regain your power, the feelings of stress will go away.

The best way to see your challenges as lessons is to ask, “What is this situation teaching me?” The answer to this question is the lesson you need to learn.

Life is not meant to be stressful. Once you refocus your mindset from why this is happening to me to what is this teaching me, life will be less stressful.

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Christmas Hutchinson

Christmas Hutchinson

Christmas is a Growth Mindset Coach and Host of The ChrissyTV Podcast. Connect with her at www.chrissytv.com.