Stress impacts people in different ways so this is about trying to manage it a little bit better. Stress can be caused by multiple factors, below are some examples.
- Create scenarios in your head
- Nutrient deficiencies
- Lack of sleep
- Social Media
Circle of concern
The circle of concern is all the things that you care about that directly affect you. You have zero control over these things that you recognize exist, but they are outside of your control.
Circle of control is everything you have 100% control over. These are things that you tend to stress less about because you have total control. These include your thoughts, your behavior, your decisions, how you work, what you’re going to say, and who you spend time.
Circle of Influence
The three circles are all interrelated and they will all impact your stress and how you handle it.
The circle of influence is everything that you can influence in some way. The influence may be influencing your mind it, in that you accept that you can’t change it. Very similar to agreeing to disagree with someone when you know arguing will have no resolution.
When looking at something that is causing you stress, always think about how you can influence that specific stress, so that you can increase that circle of influence. Increase that control and decrease the circle of concern. Remember the circle of concern are the things that are out of our control. We want to be in control of as many things as we possibly can, because that reduces the anxiety and in turn reduces our stress.
Increasing Your Circle of Influence
Increase your circle of influence increases your control, decreases your concern, and therefore decreases your stress. You need to be proactive and solution focus, find what you can control. When you master this, your circle of influence becomes larger, and your circle of concern shrinks.
How can you influence each example listed earlier, to increase your level of control?
- Worrying – Do you know all the facts? Find out the facts, more information.
- Nervous – Increase your level of knowledge. We are often nervous of the unknown.
- Fear – Of what? We are often fearful of the unknown or the possible consequences. Learn more to reduce the unknown or look for solutions for the problematic consequences.
- Create scenarios in your head – Wait and see rather than preempting.
- Work – Speak to your boss, improve your time management, look for another job.
- Family – Have a conversation to discuss any issues, set boundaries, or seek outside help.
- School – Speak to the faculty, lecturer etc.
- Illness – So some research, or speak to an expert such as a doctor, pharmacist, naturopath etc.
- Nutrient deficiencies – Have regular blood test, improve your diet, and supplement if required.
- Lack of sleep – Establish the cause, find solution.
- Hunger – Eat regularly and more regularly.
- Overeating – Portion control, get a nutrition coach.
- Social Media – Switch off, detox.
- Emails – Get someone to manage them for you, switch off, detox
What to do?
Make a list of all your concerns. Go through each item and think of at least one way you may be able to influence that concern to increase your control over it. Remember, your influence may be accepting you have to let it go. The more possible influences you can think of for each concern, the lower your stress will get. And remember, you don’t have to do this alone. Sometimes the best influence is seeking some help from an outside source.