How to deal with Quiet Stress
“Despite getting a bad rap over the years, expressing anger or frustration is far healthier than smiling sweetly while feeling quietly stressed.” according to Prof Cooper of Manchester University.
“There is a growing epidemic of people who don’t voice their anger, and suffer just as much.”
When she was growing up, Kate was aware her father had a temper. “He would fly off the handle very easily. My mother was forever telling him to calm down before he had a heart attack,” she remembers.
“Growing up, if my brother or I ever lost our temper, our mother would say: ‘Oh, please don’t have a temper like your father.’”
As a result, Kate learned to keep her temper in check, and saw keeping cool in the face of chaos as a positive thing…which led to all sorts of problems for Kate, including weight loss, insomnia and depression.
Look out for it:
Are you unhappy with a situation yet doing nothing to change it. and drinking or eating more than usual, over-thinking situations but not talking about them out loud or procrastinating while falling behind on your to-do-list? If so you could be quietly stressed.
Not speaking up for yourself is often a symptom of quiet stress. If someone was sitting next to you on the bus playing their music too loud, politely ask them to turn it down. If your boss is overloading you with work, calmly tell them and discuss ways to address the situation. Don’t quietly stew.
Treat it as you would regular stress:
In the same way that regular exercise, a balanced diet, mindfulness, meditation, not being overloaded with work etc, help to counter externally shown stress, the same applies to quiet stress.
Talk to somebody:
Whether it is a trusted friend or therapist, talking helps to dissipate quiet stress.
Write it down:
If you are unable to speak up about what is bothering you, write down your feelings after the event, in a quiet environment. Writing down “I should have done this” or “I should of said that” or “this is how I am feeling…..”. This is especially helpful for introverts or those who struggle with confrontation.