Who Can Be Stressed?

"Do you want the short answer or the long one?", I usually reply to this question...

... The short answer is of course: Everyone!

But it is important to say that stress comes to us in different amounts at different times. And that's good! That way we don't walk around with a pending heart attack and we are still able to jump for our lives when we need to!

Not so long ago a friend of mine came to me and told me she felt pain when going to work and she asked me what it could be. She had finished college and had begun her new job as a communications director for a shipping and logistics company.

She felt pain in her neck, back, stomach and sometimes shoulders when she was going to work in the morning and when she left again in the afternoon.

As we talked, we agreed that her pain could not be from a bad working position - since she felt it almost all over.

But after that initial discussion of her "symptoms" I asked her: "So tell me, how is your work", and she broke into tears. Her leaving school, getting a new job and moving within a couple of months had her completely overwhelmed.

She felt that she "dressed up for work", taking on a mask to fit in and not step on anybody's toes.

I told her that she should lose the mask slowly by showing more human sides of herself on purpose: We talked about sending an email wrong on purpose and double parking her car for someone to see and then correct her. Although this may seem a little unethical, if the price of doing nothing is losing your job or severe stress - it's really a no-brainer.

She finally settled on dropping an open water bottle during a lunch break for everybody to see. She found that people were helpful and caring and not at all as scary and mean as she had thought!

Now for the stress part I told her that she was in a stressful period in her life, however, she did not have to fear anything.

After talking about some of the techniques she could use to reduce her daily stress, she was able to realize that she did not have to be stressed.

All her problems would (and did) solve themselves if she just gave them a little more time. It takes time to settle in to a new environment both in a job and at home...

The moral of the story is that every now and then we have to just endure the challenges of life and that talking about it may help a lot.
She told me, that just expressing how she felt to me (and herself I will add!) gave her an idea of how to cope with her stress...

And I will be happy to help when she is going for her first promotion, when her parents pass away, when she has her first child or any of the thousands of things that might cause stress...

I hope this little story shed some light on how different stress is and that you are able to see that we can all be stressed. In fact:

We will all be stressed. Sooner or later.

So who are the most stressed?

There are a lot of answers to this question, among the most commonly found are:
  • Parenting
  • Officers
  • Military professionals
  • Pilots
  • School Teachers
  • Not having a job
... and the list go on!

Again, stress is individual. Read more about who can be stressed and what stress is here.