Annoyance is Your Friendly Helper

| December 8, 2014 | 0 Comments

by Mrs. Freud

Once again I chose the topic of stress, since it can be so harmful to our physical, mental and psychological health. Being stressed changes our whole perception, including that of our environment, our achievements and our loved ones. Suddenly, nothing seems good enough anymore. But how can we get out of it once we are in it? Here is something that can help, but I need to warn you, it is a process rather than a pill popping moment. It is effort well spent, because it improves our wellbeing.

Often a stressed person does not even notice that stress has colored his/her perception of life. The first step is to notice that stress is present. Just because it is so very common in our society, it does not mean that being highly stressed is normal or acceptable. Some signs of being under the influence of stress could be: being short with loved ones, feeling that others take forever to comprehend what you told them, waking up and thinking of all the things that need to be done with a sense of urgency or even panic, not being able to transition to down time mode on the weekend and instead getting cranky or filling the weekend with yet another long list of things to do. Once we notice that we are stressed, it is a moment to rejoice, since only with awareness can there be change and conscious improvement.

The next step is to establish habits that counteract stress. Short things work during the day, like three conscious deep breaths, a five minute nature break (on a balcony or in a garden), a phone call to a friend (only if you can truly be yourself with that person and don´t feel competitive), or making a cup of tea for yourself and enjoying it without multitasking on the side. Also there need to be longer breaks from stress on a regular basis, like a half day or whole day on the weekends without scheduled plans and just doing what you decide will be fun in the moment, or a true commitment to several vacation days in a row, without taking work along via phone or e-mail.

Often I hear my clients describe how they don´t think it is a big deal, the multitasking, working during vacation, it is even a good feeling to be needed and have a full calendar. At the same time, I can also hear the emptiness in their lives, when they isolate themselves because they feel that nobody can keep up with their pace and full schedules. The effects of stress build up and don´t show up in a day. That´s why we often continue to believe that we are managing, that we can be happy again, if only we try a little harder, work a little faster or longer.

But stress can only be conquered with creating slowness, pockets of nothingness and room to let our head sort out impressions freely, without the distraction of having to function in a hurry. Our sub-conscience also needs time and energy to come up with its own logic and effectively guide us through life decisions. It takes a certain amount of surrender to let these processes happen. It may look like we are slaking off, but in reality, we are doing what is most important for our own personal successes in life.

Once good de-stressing habits are established, we will be aware of stress alarms. Building stress will be noticeable before it becomes harmful and interferes with your blissful life. It is different for all of us, so we need to be observant and get to know our very own alarm signals. Little things get annoying, more than usual. Maybe it is the revving car on the street, the neighbor’s dog barking, or a pet peeve of yours “acts up” again and annoys you more than usual. Take these reminders with gratitude and make it a point to do something extra for your peace of mind that day. On the long run, these annoying reminders will be your friendly helpers in staying stress free and enjoying life beyond your current imagination.

Author Sabine Starr is a psychologist licensed in Vienna, Austria, currently living and working in Mission Hills. She has written numerous articles for professional psychology journals. For further information, visit and follow her blog at; and a new social media offering is

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