Yes! this is a health issue!
Some might ask what stress caused by communication has to do with health. It has EVERYTHING to do with health because it’s something we deal with every day, all day. This is the reason for my blog on Stress Management 101 – Communication! Have you heard of folks who are conflict avoidant? Perhaps folks who are conflict initiators? Maybe you keep away from any conversation that may have a response you don’t want to hear? We live in a world of technology in which many utilize to communicate. It’s easy to communicate differently by email than you would if you were speaking face to face. People ignore texts, emails or voice messages so as just not to have to say no. People use punctuation or an emoji to press a point and if no punctuation or emoji are used, it’s interpreted completely different. Stress of any kind has a direct negative effect on your physical being. It may not be something so large or obvious that create an immediate response that literally smacks you in the head but it will cause symptoms that are worthy of paying attention to. Frequent illness, headaches, weight gain or chronic illness can be caused by the constant drip of stress. I chose communication as a trigger for this blog – Stress Management 101 – Communication because it’s the elephant in the room; a serious and constant battle.
Let’s explore a few of the many ways communication can be stressful. If the person you are giving the information to doesn’t understand how you intended, things go wrong and blame ensues! Frustration sets in and bam! Stress! I hate to break it to you but it’s the responsibility of the person “sending” the information for it to be received as intended. What to do to make sure? Simply ask them to repeat it back to you. I use this technique with my children. Inevitably, if I do not, something gets lost in translation and creates miscommunication which then becomes stressful. You must be accountable for the correct translation.
Let’s not forget about not communicating in fear of the response. How many times a day or week does this happen? I’m willing to bet a lot. I have a 14-year-old daughter who wanted an opportunity to go from just volunteering at a local horse barn to becoming a “working student”. I guided her on how to handle it given her goal. Each week I would pick her up and ask her how the conversation went and she would give me the same answer, “I didn’t ask yet; I’m nervous”. She knew I was not going to do it for her so she was on her own to take the next step. Her reason for wanting to make the change from volunteering to a working student got more urgent and she finally approached her supervisor and was told they would consider the steps to make it happen. She let 4 weeks go by without asking because of her fear of what she might hear. She stressed over it for a whole month. No matter what the answer was going to be, at least it was an answer. The old saying applies here “Ask and you shall receive”. The only caveat is you may not receive what you want but you will receive. You need to be ok with that. This causes procrastination paralysis. You have endless circular dialogue with yourself. All you are doing is running on the, preverbal, hamster wheel. Get off the hamster wheel.
These is just a few points, however, ones which are consistent. Be aware of how you communicate and what you can do to better your efforts. I hope you take my advice on Stress Management 101 – Communication to start lowering your stress.