Book a discovery call

Why You're Always Stressed & Busy (& how to change that!)

aligned productivity generational beliefs mindset management time freedom Jan 30, 2022
Why you are always stressed

I'm going to share an unpopular opinion: We are uncomfortable with lack of stress.

 

Most of us became incredibly clear of this lack of stress - or in other words, "lack of distraction" - when covid hit in 2020 and we had the first taste of "forced" isolation. If you were feeling uncomfortable being in isolation because there is not enough to do, it could be due to lack of stress. The truth is, it doesn't matter whether or not there is a situation that forces us to slow down and spend more time alone (and there are more than enough problems this as well given the situation, but that is not what this post is about).

 

Regardless, we are uncomfortable with a lack of stress, because we are so used to living in high levels of stress.

 

We Thrive in Chaos

 

Can you think of a time when you weren't *not* stressed? Even when you're doing fun things, the mind is still turning it's wheels. On weekends you're planning for your week ahead and on vacation you are thinking about new ideas for how you can monazite your business or an idea for that new project. 

 

What it tends to come down to, is wanting to control the future. And what lies beneath the surface of wanting to control the future? A man-made sense of safety. It's a vicious cycle though, because the idea that by planning ahead and doing lots of things you will be able to control the outcome, but in doing so, you go down the spiral, deeper and deeper into a life consumed by a heightened level of stress. 

 

Then there is your conscious mind, the side of you who is here reading this because you don't want to keep rushing through life and you do want to appreciate the time you have on this earth.How often did you rush through your busy life and wish that things would slow down, just for a second? You promised you would show gratitude and soak up every moment if you could just release the stress of needing to “do” all the time. 

 

But it seems, that no matter how badly you want the ease and slow life and presence, the stressy life and busyness finds a way to seep back in through the cracks. Let's dive deeper into why that is and how you can shift this once and for all!

 

Stress is Normalised 

 

A certain level of stress is actually good. It is our nervous system letting us know to be on guard in order to protect ourselves. It is about SURVIVAL. 

 

But to be in a constant state of stress is not healthy. The problem is, this new level of constant stress is normalised. See the graphic below; A state of rest and digest is at level one but most of us think it exists at level two, because we are already spending so much time at level three. Level two has become the ground floor, yet it is still an experience of stress on the nervous system, where we are still living in fight, flight or freeze mode.  

 

 

Why? Busyness is Celebrated  

 

You are used to being busy all the time. Busyness is the standard of our fast-paced society… I mean, if you’re not busy, than what are you even doing with your life, right?!

 

We are used to a certain level of stress. When we are constantly running around, that stress becomes our new normal. We experience constant normalised stress in our daily lives. Anything additional is seen as “stress”, when in reality this identified stress is actually an addition to the already existing underlying and unidentified stress.

 

The Lack of Stress is Stressful

 

This might sound crazy, but the lack of stress and busyness you experience when you practice slowing down and creating time to rest, is actually creates stress in itself, because your body is no longer used to the lack of stress. 

 

We have become so accustomed to living at a standard level of stress, where we are “busy” all the time. Now, we want to practice slowing down and we no longer know how to do that. It now feels UNSAFE. 

 

Now is the time to ask yourself, "what you were gaining from your constant busyness and stress?" If you crave the stress or it feels uncomfortable not to have the constant distraction or action, then there is an underlying story that you are benefiting from, which results in stress staying as a constant in your life.

 

The Stress Story You’re Benefiting From:

 

The first story is the perception that busyness = productive = successful = happiness.

 

You can no longer be busy “doing” all the time. If you have attached your self-worth to success in these terms you may be feeling lost, and are therefore having a difficult time relaxing. You can’t actually do things like play with your kids or read a book because your mind is still expecting you to be rushing around.

 

We are used to this type of constant chaos, so when it no longer exists, we are left trying to fill a void. Why? Let’s unpack that in the second story.

 

The second story is anything that is constantly existing underneath the stress. When we are running around, the busyness “saves” us from having to look at whatever emotions, feelings, situations, and clutter we need to deal with underneath the surface.

 

When the noise calms down, a void opens. Since there is no busyness to fill this open void, any underlying issues you have been pushing away flood in. This can become incredibly uncomfortable. (Trust me, I am personally fully aware of this experience being true in my own life).

 

We are being forced outside our comfort zones

 

Let’s break this whole situation down one more time.

 

You are used to a certain level of stress, constantly. Now, you are wanting to shift out of this, reevaluate how you spend your time, or perhaps the situation over the past couple years forced you to slow down. As a result, you may feel stressed because you feel the need to be busy... because it feels "good". Underlying the need to be busy, is the stress that comes from your emotional *stuff* that is arising in this void of calm.

 

Ultimately, the absence of stress is making you feel stressed because it is forcing you out of our comfort zone. It forces us to come face to face with our sh*t. Forcing us to address and acknowledge our underlying feelings. The suppressed dreams. The cluttered situations.

 

So, now it’s time to be honest with yourself and let sh*t get REAL. What are you not wanting to face? Are there emotions or situations are you trying to avoid? Is there something you are covering up by being on the move all the time?

 

Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

 

We benefit from stress because it prevents us from having to come face to face with our sh*t. Not being in a state of constant stress is stressful for us. We feel uncomfortable with a lack of stress. That is okay.

 

But we have an incredible opportunity to turn that statement around; to get comfortable in the calm. To *actually* release stress.

 

How do you release stress so that you can fully find that place of calm and stability? Answer: By dealing with the stuff that comes up in the void of calm.

 

By getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. That means getting still, slowing down, coming face to face with your emotional clutter, dealing with the situations you’ve been putting off.

 

Letting go, releasing, and decluttering can be uncomfortable, but that is where growth happens.

 

How to declutter stress & find stability

 

Shift your Mindset

 

The first thing you need to do is release the story that busyness equals success. How can you do this? Actually schedule time in your calendar to relax. I like to call these "rest blocks." Make slow activates that bring you joy a priority. This might feel uncomfortable at first and your body may want to go back to “productive” activities. That’s okay; keep reminding yourself that relaxing is productive, and that each time you do this, you are teaching your body that it is actually safe to slow down. 

 

Some slow joy inducing activities:

  • Spending time with your family
  • Cooking or baking just for fun
  • Calling a friend
  • Create, paint, draw
  • Journal your feelings, dreams, ideas
  • Mediate. Get to know yourself better
  • Find a good book and lose yourself in it
  • Take a walk and breathe
  • Move your body: do a workout, go for a run, dance around the living room

 

Share in the comments what slow joy activities you are doing!

 

Sit with your Shit

 

Yup. I don’t mean literally. And I don’t mean to frame emotional clutter as “negative”. It is only negative as long as you hold onto it and it hinders you from living your best life. As you release whatever comes up, your emotional clutter can actually become a positive catalyst for your own personal growth.

 

Now, this is the hard work. This is the work where you go inward and truly sit with whatever comes up. The key to this is picking the method that works best for you.

 

Methods of releasing:

  • Journaling out your feelings, thoughts, beliefs, blocks
  • Confiding in a trusted loved one
  • Talking to a professional (you can book a zero pressure discovery call with me below if you want to dive into what this could look like for you!)
  • Sit in meditation… sometimes we don’t even know what the shit it until we get quiet enough to hear it.

 

Surrender

 

As you go through the process of releasing your emotional clutter, instead of filling the void with the next activity, try to create space. Try to become a human being instead of a human doing. It’s okay to not fill up every moment of life with a task. See where life takes you when you leave things open.

 

If you are frustrated with how long it is taking you to acknowledge, release, or accept whatever is coming up, that’s okay. Remember, this is a process that takes time... and honestly, it will probably last the rest of your life. The fact that you are sitting with your feelings is already massive progress.

 

A lot of feelings we hold onto are from situations we cannot or could not control. Surrendering means loosening your grip on forcing something to be a certain way. Trust that if something isn’t working out the way you expected or hoped, that the thing wasn’t meant for you. Again, creating space in this perceived void can allow for something better to come along.

 

Let me know how this resonated with your in the comments! How are you intending to step into releasing this normalised level of stress? 

 

 

Are you ready to seriously uplevel your way of working and create a new foundation for HOW you are living your life with the time-freedom you've been dreaming of, because you now know how to do less?

If you're feeling the pull, register for a coaching consultation call, where we will talk about if this coaching is the right fit for you, what level of support is most aligned, and identify what exactly this transformation will look like for you!

Let's do it

Stay connected with news and updates!

Share, like, and comment if you enjoyed this post.  Reach out to Olivia via email at [email protected] or @declutteredintentions on Instagram if you have any questions or comments! 

 

Looking for your next action step towards streamlining your overwhelming to do list, doing less and achieving your next level goal, abundance, and time-freedom? 

Watch the FREE on Demand Training for Banishing the Burden of Time, so that you can finally have MORE time, MORE ease, MORE energy, whilst still achieving massive success.

Let me show you how!

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.