Most people believe that it is external stressful situations or people that cause their stress. But, this is not 100% accurate.
Most of the time it is based on our perception of that specific situation.
How we perceive/appraise an event plays a very large role.
Think about it this way, you might have a meeting at your office and two people may have a different perception of that meeting. One person might say it was an amazing meeting and another might say it was a terrible meeting. The same meeting, the same circumstances, it’s the perception of the meeting is different.
So here’s the thing about perception:
Perception is not based on your current reality, perception has a lot to do with past experiences and emotional responses based on those past experiences.
Our histories affect our attitudes, our perceptions, and our behaviors. They affect how we communicate and how well we get along with each other, even sometimes without us realizing it.
For example, say you are working with someone that you had a falling-out with in the past. They get assigned to a team that you are a part of and your history with that person is going to bias your current reality and how you interact with that person in the present moment.
That strong emotional trigger is brought forward to that current situation and it’s bringing you stress. Your perception of the current reality could be based on your past experiences.
This is where empathy and compassion come in.
Empathy is the experience of understanding another person’s condition from their perspective. You place yourself in their shoes and feel what they are feeling.
Some time ago the U.S. was experiencing difficulties on the political front, we were divided, both sides were attacking each other and regardless of what side you are on, it was a stressful situation to be in.
During this time, it was important for us, for our mental health, to listen to the perception of the other side. What they are saying and understand where they are coming from.
See if you can see their perception and understand with compassion.
It doesn’t mean you have to agree with them, understand with compassion, and dive deeper to understand what that person is saying, feeling, thinking to better connect with them. Empathy should drive us to act compassionately toward others.
Below is a link to a webinar that you are welcome to watch:
5 Steps Busy Professionals Use to Biohack Their Physiology, Break Free from Stress, Remain Calm and Cool in High-Pressure Situations and Increase Productivity by 40%
For a video version of this post, please click here: