A little bit of stress in our lives is said to be a good thing. It propels us forward in our productivity. But too much stress can be severely damaging.
When your stress reaches a high level you can literally explode.
We’ve all been there.
it takes one little thing…
Everything is going along fine until… one small thing can make you lose control completely.
In the scheme of things, it might not even be a big deal. But at that moment in time it is THE BIGGEST DEAL EVER.
Boiling point has been reached. And before you know it, you can feel your blood pressure rising, your heart beating faster and then BOOM. An explosion that can be heard a mile away.
People stop what they are doing. A deathly hush descends and all eyes are on you.
If you have ever been in that situation, you know how uncomfortable it is. Your stress has just hit a new high.
And, when you’re stressed, your productivity suffers. You no longer feel as if you have any control over what you are doing.
So, what can you do about it?
Well, I could glibly say, don’t get into the situation in the first place. Yep that works – not!
Usually the explosion is due to a number of building factors. And is not actually caused by the last thing that happened at all. It’s just the point at which ‘enough is enough’ has happened. The straw that broke the camel’s back so to speak.
You are under too much stress.
So what is the best thing to do in this situation? Here are my 5 steps to dealing with a stressful outburst. I will follow these steps with 5 steps on returning to calm.
5 Step Process To Deal With a Stress Outburst
Step 1 – Step Away
Yep, just move away. There is nothing to see here. Just get out of the place that has caused the immediate upset.
Stepping away from the trigger of stress is a good option. Take yourself out of the situation by doing something that will help you clear your head. My recommendation is to get some fresh air. If you can go for a walk, or even go and stand outside in the fresh air, I promise you that you will feel better.
Step 2 – Scream
In fact most of the time, when I have been in this situation, all I wanted to do was scream. DON’T scream at the other person. That is not going to help anyone.
But, one of the suggestions I would offer you. SCREAM – yes, really do that. Pushing all that angst out of your body will do you the world of good.
Find somewhere private
Although I would recommend that you find somewhere private. And give people some prior warning. Otherwise somebody might call the emergency services. And have you taken away by the men in white coats.
You are full to the brim with too much stress. You need to get all that stress out of your body.
So, after having had that scream and hopefully you are feeling better, the next step is to get those niggles out.
Step 3 – Vent The Niggles
Now I’m sure that before you even read ahead you are already making a list up in your own mind. A list of all those things that are annoying you at the moment. And yes, there can be all those little niggles going on in our head.
The dishes from breakfast have been abandoned by the sink. Because nobody thinks to put them in the dishwasher or
Your boss has asked you to do something urgent at the last minute. When she jolly well knows that you have other things to do. Things that she gave you yesterday which she said were urgent then too!
Get It all out
I’m sure that you have loads going on. Get it all out. All these little niggles over time will build up until you have too much stress.
If you don’t have someone you can vent to, then I would grab a pen and paper and write them all down.
Write in bullet points
Don’t think too hard about it. Write in bullet points what those niggles are. Get them out. They are taking up valuable space in your head and if I am honest with you. They are not doing you any good.
By the way, if you are going to vent at someone do tell them that is what you are doing. You are not looking to have a discussion or wanting them to solve anything. You want to let it out.
Step 4 – Breathe
Okay. So you have walked away, screamed and vented your frustration. It’s all out. Now breathe.
Seriously, breathe – draw your breath in for 3 counts, hold for 3 and then let it out slowly. Yes you guessed it, to a count of 3. Go on, try it.
Getting The Most out of Breathing
To get the most benefit out of it, stand or sit up straight. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.
Breathing in this way helps to bring more oxygen into the body and will reduce stress.
If you find yourself exhaling too quickly, try pursing your lips. Trust me, it will help slow it down.
When you are suffering with too much stress, this exercise may take a while. Be patient with yourself, but persevere.
Returning To Calm
Right, well hopefully you are feeling a bit better after that.
This is the time to look at the situation without emotion. Although I do not suggest you do this until you do feel that you can be unemotional about it. So what if it takes a couple of hours, or a day to get it all out of your system.
You now want to approach the situation in a calm manner. Too much stress is affecting your behaviour, so now you need to find a way of releasing it in a controlled way.
Blow ups like that, cannot go unchecked. If you don’t address the situation, the same thing can happen again. Which will make you feel even worse. Boy, you don’t want that. You want to be able to reduce those feelings of having too much stress in your life.
So what should you do?
Try to Understand The Cause
First of all, try to understand what is you are stressed about. Once you know what it is, you can develop a strategy to deal with it.
Remember that venting I suggested you do in step 3? Well now comes the dissection. I can guarantee that all those niggles that you have written down are symptoms of the source.
They may be good indicators that there is too much stress around you. But lying underneath all of those niggles is the real issue that is causing you stress.
It might not always be easy to see, but believe me, you will find it.
Keep A Log
If you are struggling to find the cause of your stress, you might want to keep a log of the times when you get upset. It could be a particular situation, or a certain person. Note it down. Identify what it is that is causing you too much stress.
In many situations, the source of stress is because you feel frustrated in some way. Perhaps your goals are being challenged. You feel as if you are being taken for granted, or you feel threatened about something.
By keeping a log, you will start to see some trends and identify the cause from there.
Don’t Suffer In Silence
If you do have too much stress in your life, don’t suffer in silence.
Explain to someone that you trust how you feel. Tell them that you feel stressed. That you are finding things challenging. And ask for help.
I don’t know anyone who would deny giving support in those situations. But they need to be aware of how you are feeling first, before they can help you.
Talking It Out
Stress has a nasty habit of lingering. You can take some time out of the situation, but unless you address the cause of your stress then it will not change.
Talking to someone about how you feel is a scary step. But believe me, it will feel so much better for you. A little bit of stress is okay, but too much stress is debilitating. Not only does it linger, but it can very easily build up again.
When you are stressed, it’s difficult to see things objectively.
If you have a good friend or family member raise it with them. If you don’t feel comfortable doing that, then consider seeking professional advice.
We all have times when we think we are going to explode because there is too much stress in our lives.
To blow up every now and then is quite normal. After all, life does not always go smoothly. If only it did *sigh*
So in those situations where your stress, makes you explode. Follow the 4 steps above to see if you just have too much stress going on.
When you are calm, look to take the appropriate action.
But, if your stress levels are continually being raised. When you often experience a racing heart and rising blood pressure. Find someone to talk to.
Stress untreated does not cure itself. Too much stress causes you to become ill. You owe it to yourself to do something about it.
After all, stress impacts our productivity, but also every aspect of our enjoyment in life.
One of the causes of stress is procrastination. Read my article on How Procrastination Leads To Stress for more insight.
Alternatively you might find my article on perfectionism and Why Being A Perfectionist Is Not Good For Your Mental Health helpful.
As always, I love to hear your feedback.
If you have suffered with too much stress that has made you have an emotional outburst – what strategy have you adopted?