How Stress Shows Up:


Sometimes stress doesn’t disappear when you work on your adult coloring books or indulge in a one hour massage session. Joy only seems to last as long as that fun activity did. Stress is complicated, so the solutions must be elaborate and their affect long lasting.

First, find out all the stressors that are in your control and the ones that are unavoidable. For those that are out of your control, look at them as difficult tasks that need to be done, and plan stress free activities around them to ease the discomfort.

For those that are in your control, identifying them and working on planning and intentional ideal goal setting would help a long way.

When we give ourselves away, that it leads to emotional and physical burnout. So, self-compassion and self-care is an essential part of the stress-free routine.



Psychological Sources of Stress:


  • Unexpected changes
  • Unwanted pressure
  • Inconsistent goals and behaviors
  • Conflict with Others
  • Feeling Overloaded
  • Anticipation of future event
  • Negative self-talk
  • Perfectionism or unrealistic expectations
  • Rigid thinking
  • All-or-nothing attitude
  • “Should” statements



How Is Stress Caused:


Stress = time + confined or limited space.

Stress is primarily caused when our autonomy is taken away, when we feel threatened by internal or external circumstances, and sometimes when we discover choices that we didn’t know existed.

Stress in caused in students and young adults because of body image, bullying, traumatic experiences, grief and feeling unbelievable pressure of expectations from school, parents, social circles etc.

When any of these triggers happen, the hormones Serotonin and Cortisol rise producing that tension we feel.



How Is Stress Caused By Tech:


3000 years ago, we had the agriculture revolution. 300 years ago, we had the “disruption” of the industrial revolution. 30 years ago, it was the computer revolution, followed by internet, mobile, smart phone, social media invasions leading to distraction and interruption addictions in the technology and information revolutions.

What’s happening because of Information overload: An avalanche of information which is making our lives overwhelming and confusing.

The promise of the internet’s potential is vast. and not curated for your own needs. Not immediate and predictable like real life. The allure of online world is undeniable.

Because the internet never ends unlike a book that has a last page, we develop digital fatigue.
We become lost and distracted. Offline, we become moody and irritable because real life is not stimulating enough.



Stressors Of Our Real And Reel Lives:


Momentary stressors are good, what’s bad is chronic stressors. Of course, momentary stressors can occur when you see a picture of the plot of land your friend is getting her multimillion dollar home built on.

The thing is, when we’re in pain, regret or experience envy, it’s best to take a step back. Literally take a walk with your thoughts. Ask your intuition to solve a problem for you. When you let noise clutter your world, intuition becomes silent. So, bring it out by calming yourself.

One of the factors for depression is the inability to separate social media glamor from real life. Seeing that thirst trap (sexually arousing selfies) one of your coworkers is posting on their personal Instagram stories can send you into a spiral of self-loathing.



How To Fight Digital Disruption:


The different between the most successful people and the average Joes are that successful ones tend to focus and manage distractions well. SINGLE TASKING is the mind being possessed by a singular task when there are several simultaneous stimuli in the proximity.

Set your intention for the hour / day. Evaluate your goals. Take back control, your phone is not your boss. Nomophobia – the fear of missing out on your mobile phones, text next and phantom vibration syndromes are real diseases now. Stop multitasking by making your environment focus driven.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, an interruption of 4.5 seconds triples the amount of errors made in the task at hand, and one hour of well-focused time is equivalent to four hours of time rife with distractions.



Make Space For The Most Important:


© Allison Graham



How To Stay Focused:


The number one reason why we face stress is because we don’t keep up with our priorities. And subsequently, when deadlines loom, we tend to get anxious about the outcomes.

Marie Forleo, talks about how to stay on top of our game plan.

1. Do creative work first. Work on a full tank of cognitive fuel.
2. Put your life on airplane mode.
3. Write a onesie: Write the imp task at hand and start with that.

In the essay, Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence by Daniel Goleman, he says, “The ability for an individual to have a healthy focus on a specific task in the middle of distractions is one of the most important predictors of success and excellence in a career. The key ongoing nemesis of focus is not noise and activity, but emotional distress.” It’s a great essay to understand the great importance of focus.




“A highly successful person is very focused on what they want to be doing. The weekend and the week look very similar: They are focused on creating the life they want.” ~ Unknown



Mitigating Stressors To Thrive:


On your path to your goals, it’s best to take the path of least resistance. Think Big picture. Get a perspective and center yourself. Don’t overcorrect your course, you’re always doing your best at any given point of time, isn’t it?

Stop catastrophizing. Anchor your thoughts in the now. Not in the past or in the future. Face your fears. Ask the question in your head, “Is that true?” Face facts, instead of feelings, thoughts, emotions, beliefs. Are your thoughts justified?

Be ok with silence. Its ok to be confused. Its ok not to have answers for everything as you start.

Reinforce your love to manage your relationships well. No need of demonstrating your love with material goods but with words.

Start from abundance. You already have everything you need. Visualize an awesome outcome. Fear doesn’t change reality, so why fear. For parents, micromanaging, grabbing the steering wheel of their children’s lives can be stressful. Read more on how to let go gracefully HERE.

Expect the best, but prepare for the worst. The only thing that’s permanent in our lives is Change. Yet, we can’t control. But, we can figure out our way through it. That’s an empowering thought.

Bring awareness to your strengths and your inner wisdom. Operate with radical forgiveness for yourself and others. Without it, we can’t move forward.

And with tech, adopt a need based use of it. Question yourself if you’re reaching out to your phone. Do you really need it?

What’s more, imagine comments on your posts on Twitter can cause stress. A few years ago, this kind of a scenario would have been incomprehensible. And online, in the cover of anonymity, there’s an increase in tribalism, hyperbolic outrage and disinformation. It’s not surprising at all, it’s impossible to rude to anyone to their face.

After all, had the best night ever on my phone – said no one ever. Life in our physical world is not match for happiness and satisfaction to our virtual world. It’s a fact.

Picture on desktop Alison Graham




A teen I spoke to last week decided to delete Snapchat from her phone for a month for Lent because she often feels left out of things—seeing what everyone else was doing made her feel lonely. In preparation, she contacted her close friends and told them what she was doing, and they should contact her via text. Two days after she deleted Snapchat she told me how much happier she was not to be reminded what others were doing without her….she said with a big smile, “Ignorance is bliss.”

~ Excerpt From Solutions for too Much Time on Social Media By Delaney Ruston, MD


* * *


About The Article Author:

Our mission with FutureSTRONG Academy – to grow children who respect themselves, their time and their capabilities in a world where distractions are just a click or a swipe away.

I see myself as an advocate for bringing social, emotional and character development to families, schools and communities. I never want to let this idea out of my sight – Our children are not just GPAs. I’m a Writer and a Certified Master Coach in NLP and CBT. Until 2017, I was also a Big Data Scientist. In December of 2044, I hope to win the Nobel. Namasté

Write to me or call me. Tell me what support from me looks like. 

Rachana Nadella-Somayajula,
Program Director & Essential Life Skills Coach for Kids and Busy Parents

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