Have you ever felt overwhelmed and stressed but didn’t know exactly why? Of course you have. We all have at one time or another. Unfortunately, when these situations occur, most people attempt to treat the symptoms of their feelings rather than address the situation itself. It’s important, though, to uncover what’s causing you to feel overwhelmed and stressed, rather than just treating the symptoms.
Here is a short story to illustrate my point: A teacher walked into her classroom after a rainy weekend and discovered a puddle of water in the middle of the floor. She called the custodian and told him what was wrong. He came and mopped up the puddle. The next morning, the scenario was repeated.
When the teacher walked in the third day to find yet another puddle, she called the head custodian and explained, “This is the third day in a row this has happened. Could you please come and take care of it?”
When he showed up a few minute later, he didn’t even have a mop. The teacher asked with a puzzled look, “How are you going to mop up the puddle?”
He replied, “I’m not. I’m going to fix the leak.”
You Don’t Have to Feel Overwhelmed and Stressed
Too often when someone says or does something that doesn’t meet our standards, or when we feel overwhelmed and stressed, we “mop up the puddle.” In other words, we react to what’s happening on the surface instead of seeking the source of the problem and attending to that.
With so many youth and adults experiencing so much stress, problems, and challenges these days, it behooves us not to jump to “fix-it judgments.” A better approach is to take some time to question and elicit the reasons behind the situation and overwhelmed feeling, and then adjusting for a solution to the situation.
Treating the symptoms of stress may be a viable short-term solution, but for a long-term fix and to truly live without stress, we must dive deeper and address the underlying problems that are causing the stress. That’s only sure-fire way for a happier life.
What do you do when you feel overwhelmed and stressed? Do you treat the symptoms? Or do you address the underlying issues? Please share your experiences and thoughts on the Without Stress Facebook page.