Stressful Situations, Stressful People

I have come to the realization that certain people and situations stress me out.  Stress sucks, plain and simple. Part of having an anxiety disorder means I worry a lot and stress out all the time. I am terrible at handling my stress. If I’m not in a stressful situation, then I’m totally fine. At home, I am relaxed and with my boys and am exactly who I want to be.  The problems start when I got outside of my home.  Let me specify. I actually have found that the gym that I’m going to now, which is so clean and pretty, is not stressful to me. I actually find it stress relieving to go there. I never thought I’d say those words. I know I’ve mentioned in the past how stressful I found going to the gym was, but that was my university gym, which was dusty, smelly, and had people who looked way better than me.  At the gym I go to now, I’m like the best looking person around, so I have much more confidence 🙂

My problems with stress occur when I’m at work, mostly, or in crowded, public places, such as the mall, the movie theater, bars, any public event really.  I absolutely hate festivals because I always feel like I’m going to see someone “getting sick” or some of the food is going to make me “sick.”

While it’s not always possible to remove myself from these situations, because I do need to go to work, it is possible to manage stress while in them.  The thing that’s been really working for me lately is to listen to podcasts on my iPhone while at work.  I am a huge fan of podcasts now!  Here are some that I’ve been listening to pretty regularly or have listened to in the past and loved:

These are just some of my favorites. Have you heard of any of these/listened to any of these?

I even splurged on some pretty pink ear buds for better listening 🙂

The last few days, I’ve had to multitask at work more than usual, so I haven’t been able to tune anyone out with my podcasts.  I don’t listen to music, but I may have to soon.  I listen to classical, mostly, because I find it relaxing and there isn’t any loud base to kill my hearing.

This past week has pretty much been like that.  I’ve been asked to do additional tasks at work and that kind of change is stressful for me, someone who does not handle change well. I know it’s only temporary, but stressful nonetheless.

I find that negative or difficult people really bring me down as well and cause me to gossip more than I normally would.  Eventually, this kind of social situation really brings me down mentally, emotionally, and even physically to the point that I’m exhausted when I get home.

Here are some good articles I’ve read to deal with difficult people:

I need to work on additional ways to calm the heck down and not worry so much, but that’s easier said than done and those of you with anxiety disorders can probably relate. Heck, those of you who have stressful jobs or stressful schoolwork know what I’m talking about too.

What sort of things do you do to manage stressful situations or people? Please share with me and others your thoughts on this!

Thanks for reading friends 🙂


41 thoughts on “Stressful Situations, Stressful People

  1. I’m constantly stressed out. I get anxious over some of the smallest things. Things which most people would find relaxing, like taking a bath or a nap, actually stress me out because all I can think about as I’m sitting in the tub or lying in bed is, “I could be getting so much done with the time if I weren’t just sitting here doing nothing.” I have the horrible mindset of, “If I’m not stressing out over something, I’m falling behind.” It’s something I’m working on breaking.

    My best stress-relieving technique is list making. I find when I make a list of things I want to do or accomplish or change I feel much more in control of whatever situation and I’m able to sit back and actually do relaxing things like take a bath or watch TV because I feel like at least I have a game plan. Even if I never look at the list again (which, honestly, I usually don’t), I at least know it’s there and my brain is like, “Okay, I got this.”

    1. List making is a good idea. I especially like being able to cross things off the lists I make and feel some sense of control/accomplishment. I used to be really antsy like you described before being on medication, now it’s much better for me, but I could hardly ever sit and just watch TV. I’d usually end up cleaning the house at the same time.

      1. Yeah I don’t think I could listen to white noise on it’s own. That’s why I listen to thunderstorms and rain sounds you get the right frequency without annoyance lol. I hope you find something that works for you 🙂

  2. I work in a movie theater. It’s a volunteer job. I am only there a few hours tearing tickets but crowds are tough. My meds help me and my writing. I want to go to some meetups but hard meeting new people very anxiety provoking but I will give it a shot. Crowds are hard but it helps to know if you are at a show and too anxious you can go home.

  3. I look past the irritating people instead of looking at them and basically ignore them. I only get caught once in a while when they expect me to answer a question they asked and I had no idea they were even talking. When I get stressed I also try counting really slow….to myself of course, like this…..11111111111, 2222222222,333333333 and as you focus your total attention on the numbers and saying them slowly you can’t help but tune everything out but that task. I know, I’m nuts.

  4. Here are a couple of things I have done to combat anxiety. I sometimes play “What’s the worst that could possibly happen” game. If I could survive the worst, then why worry? I usually came to the conclusion that “moving back in with my Mom” at 50-something years old, was the worst, and I could POSSIBLY survive that. The other thing is self-talk or pep-talking myself. It usually took the form of “look, you have made it through hundreds of days at work; you will make it through this one just fine”. These sort of helped most of the time.

    1. Playing that game is a great idea! I actually had a therapist once who recommended it 🙂 It really does help, now I just need to remember it during those times I will need it.

  5. well, i am known to turn to the ativan pretty quickly, but on a positive note, i don’t think i’ve used a single one in over a month… as for podcasts, I listen to serial, and have listened to radiolab in the past, but my favorites are: storycorps, criminal, the moth, strangers, porchlight storytelling, this american life, and the truth. (i don’t have channels on tv, so mostly just listen)… oh, and i read blogs!!!!!!

  6. I love podcasts and am a bit of an addict.. you should totally try out StartUp, Planet Money (I’m totally not a finance/economics person but it’s so much more than that), Reply All, The Sporkful (if you’re a food fan), Snap Judgement (most amazing podcast ever) and of course the granddaddy of them all, This American Life. Those are just a few that I listen to… the full list is massive!

  7. Stress is a killer we all know that. And how to cope or deal is not always easy.
    Depending on the task given it does mean they rely on you and know you will do a good job. it is not to stress about. Yet when it is always the same person it does mean they have issues they can’t handle. It is putting stress on you.

    I personally go out of their ways those who put the stress on others. And if I can’t I am like a beach, letting it roll over me and see it taken away again. Back to minding my own. It will wash a bit of me away and at some point there is nothing left. I blow up and tell the truth about those who bug me. and to their face.

    That is how I deal with stress or else I become a tornado who wrecks. It is how we all deal differently with those around us.

    Just keep up your chin and do as you do now. You tackled so much in that short time I been reading your blog, you can be proud of how far you reached on your own two feet. big hugs

    1. Thanks for all of your continuous encouragement and kindness 🙂 Stress is truly a killer, as you said. Sometimes I feel so un-evolved because of how stressed I can be. I need to be more mindful of the here and now and stop anticipating what could be.

  8. Megan,
    I’m so sorry you’re struggling. I too, know how hard it is to deal with negative people. While we need to learn how to deal with these people, it is often easier said than done like you mentioned. However, we need to remind ourselves that we are trying hard and that some people just never understand.

    Also, I wrote an article a little while ago on my blog with on some hobbies that may help focus on something other than anxiety. Hobbies like reading, writing, doing puzzles when you have time, exercising, practicing facing your fears, and watching TV are great ways to focus on something other than how you feel.

    1. I love to read 🙂 Now that I’m out of school, I actually find the time and desire to read. For so long I was burnt out on reading for leisure, but I’m getting back into it. I stick to crochet when I feel up to it and that is a great hand-mind coordination exercise 🙂

  9. Originally, I wanted to say that I don’t get stressed out anymore since the stroke, but that isn’t quite true. I do realize that when I realize I am going to have to do something that will be difficult or long for me, I do get a bit stressed. I can, usually, stop it or slow it down by just realizing that it’s not forever and not quite as important as I might have originally thought. I also use an 8 count relaxation routine that works really well for me.
    Count from 8 to 0. Breathe in deeply, then count as you exhale through your mouth slowly.
    8- relax your right arm
    7-relax your left arm
    6-relax your right leg
    5-relax your left leg
    4-relax your stomach
    3-relax your chest
    2-relax your face
    1-relax the top of your head
    0-relax your spine

    relaxing can be just tightening a muscle in that area and releasing it (for awhile, then it becomes automatic)
    I do this several times with a couple of breaths in between. At night, I do it 5-6 times and it really helps me sleep.
    I have done this for years. It has gotten better over time.
    Maybe it can help you,

    1. That is a really great exercise, Scott. I actually am writing this down and posting it at my cubicle. This is a great way to combat some of my daily stress. 🙂

  10. I am constantly stressed out but my therapist made me more aware of triggers. Pay attention when you start getting stressed or anxious and think about what is really triggering this feeling. It helped me a lot when I really grasped my triggers. It helped me avoid getting anxious as much as possible. Working out has been the best thing for me alongside with therapy. Working out clears my head and get back to a comfortable stress level.

    Also, taking deep breaths helps you center yourself too. A lot of people don’t realize how much it can help you.

  11. The easiest and simplest things to do, are exactly what people never get around to doing. You need a “panic instruction” sheet with coping skills, because when you are IN an attack, you aren’t going to be thinking about coping skills 8*)

    Have it on hand someplace. At the top of the list – Take 4 BIG slow deep breaths…

    and so on.

  12. I have big problems leaving the comfort & safety of my house sometimes, I find crowds overwhelming & they can get me quite frustrated & angry, it’s a good job I have Rolo who needs to go out or the furthest I’d go is the bottom of the garden 🙂

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