I’m seeing it, hearing it, and feeling it. I’m guessing you are seeing, hearing, and feeling it too (even if you don’t think you are). We can easily point to current events like the election, COVID-19, social justice movement, Supreme Court confirmation hearings as reasons for our stress-laden communication. Yes, it has been a difficult 2020, BUT the stress you are experiencing runs deeper.
If you want to understand what the heck is going on, let’s go on a journey of insight and empowerment. Keep reading.
I am like you. I feel the stress. I might be a communication expert, but I am human too. In the past several months, stress has reared its multiple ugly heads. My communication has come out sideways, with force, with silence, with tears, with confusion, with accusation, with frustration, with hopelessness, and with defeat. I wrestled the stress beast to the ground so that I could communicate with clarity, grace, love, and hope. I’ve made difficult choices. (More on that later in this article.)
Let’s focus on YOU right now.
WHICH OF THESE ARE YOU EXPERIENCING?
- I am verbally attacked when I share my opinion.
- I am made fun of for what I believe.
- I am told I don’t know what I am talking about.
- I don’t know what to believe.
- I fear upsetting someone.
- I am overworked.
- I feel overwhelmed.
- I worry about what is next.
- I am exhausted.
- I am angry.
- I worry about paying bills.
- I am anxious about the unknown.
- I am grieving loss (person, job, relationship, etc.).
- I am tired of being told what I think or believe is wrong.
- I feel like my effort isn’t making an impact.
- I am confused about what I hear or read.
- I don’t know what to believe anymore.
- I wonder why “other people don’t get it”.
- I am depressed when I watch the news.
- I am annoyed when I am on social media.
- I don’t know who to vote for.
- (fill in the blank)
WHY IS THIS A PROBLEM?
The easy answer is that you cannot be your best self when you are stressed. The simple scientific answer is that stress causes the release of stress hormones that reduce your ability to react and think rationally (if you want a really complete answer, read this article by Harvard Medical School). Think of what you are saying and doing that you regret … are not proud of … need to apologize for … beat yourself up about. Yep, stress is affecting your communication.
WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?
Your morals, values, principles, and all things you hold dear are out of alignment with your surroundings. Now, what you read next might be a difficult pill to swallow so-to-speak, so brace yourself. HOW you are spending your time and WHO you are spending your time with needs to change.
HOW CAN YOU MANAGE THE STRESS?
PERSONAL CONFESSION continued (HOW I MANAGED THE STRESS)
If stress is impacting your communication, do something about it today. Don’t let your work become a burden, your relationships hurt you, or yourself suffer.
Want more help with stress? Read this blog post.