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Secret Stressors

Secret Stressors

Woman sitting on pillow in center of room, holding her hands to her facePhoto by Liza Summer from Pexels

Time management, unforeseen weather, a positive COVID-19 test, low bank account, canceled flights - these are things that WE KNOW are stressful. They smack us in the face when we are - it seems - least prepared, and cause our cortisol levels to rise. 

But there might be other stressors in your life that are also causing your cortisol levels to increase, without you even knowing. Like a third party stress vendor, if you will. Let’s identify them below to see if they might be affecting your own mental wellness. 

  1. Open Gate

    “I will not allow you in my house if you speak to me that way,” says Maggie Wilhelm, Mental Health Coach and member of WISe Wellness Guild. Her boundaries aren’t dotted lines, instead, they’re firm, bold, and her very own.

    You might need to up your boundary game if you say “yes” too quickly, you don’t know how to assert your limits, you step over other peoples’ boundaries or trust too easily. Have you been in a frustrating friendship for too long? This might be a sign too.

    Let’s lessen this secret stressor by asking yourself which thoughts, emotions or behaviors get in the way of you achieving your boundary goals? Identify the ones that hold you back, keep you stuck, or take you to a dark place.

  2. Cabin Fever

    Maybe you’re secretly stressed out because you aren’t getting enough Vitamin D or fresh air. Ugh we know, it sounds like something your mom might say.

    But so many of us dread the long, winter months, that we can often miss its unique beauty. We count down the days til spring and think the only way through is staying inside, under a blanket, viewing a screen.

    Low energy or constant fatigue might be a sign you are Vitamin D deficient. And studies suggest that Vitamin D helps fight certain conditions like osteoporosis, cancer, depression & heart attacks.

    But more importantly, spending time in nature has been linked to boosts in serotonin (the “feel good” neurotransmitter) and increased activity in parts of the brain responsible for empathy, emotional stability and love (whereas indoor, urban environments can foster fear and anxiety).

    Bundle the f up and go outside. Please.

  3. Unidentified Values

    Are you ever asking yourself, “What’s all this for?” You might ask this after receiving a frustrating email, cleaning the dishes for the 100th time on a Tuesday, or plans get cancelled.

    Another secret stressor of yours might be your unidentified values. Understanding what drives you at your core is crucial to understanding how you will manage life.

    To start, consider a meaningful moment, experience or event you were a part of. What happened? What were the circumstances?  Who were you surrounded by? What values were you honoring?

Check out WISe's Spiritual, Mental & Emotional, Physical and Financial Collections for resources, expert tips and services to help lessen the stress in your life. We are not meant to live this life alone. Reach out for help when you need it, and take small steps everyday to make improvements in your life that bring you joy.

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