Stress in Others

I’m not sure if you’re able to notice it when it hits others square in the face, but stress doesn’t look good on most people. Predictors of stress I usually notice first are anxiousness, inability to focus, impatience, and irritability. I can spot it from a mile away in some people I know very well.

So, what do we do when we see stress in others?

I try to acknowledge where the stress is coming from. Maybe I can’t pinpoint the exact location of where the stress started, but I can definitely narrow it down from personal, work, marital/relationship, or parenting issues.

Another thing that is helpful is to put yourself in their shoes. I know this can be difficult when you don’t know exactly where someone else is coming from, but it does help to realize why some of the things that are not as stressful to you are more stress inducing to others.

Lastly, empathy can go a long way. Empathy is defined by Merriam Webster as the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner. In other words, showing empathy means not judging another person’s situation based on only the facts you have right in front of you. Take a second to really listen to their issues and show empathy to the person or people you care about.

What are some stress relieving tactics you can use do with other people?


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