Don’t Let Pre-traumatic Stress Get Your Year Off to a Bad Start

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A whopping 73% of employees surveyed by MetLife reported that they are expecting to be stressed out when they return to work this week. Adjusting from their time off, trying to get caught up with work missed during their holiday, and addressing financial problems caused by Christmas spending constitute the three biggest issues identified in the survey.

Interestingly, people often get themselves into a frenzy expecting their world to be stressful before they even discover whether it is. Pretraumatic stress or anticipatory anxiety as this phenomenon is known, does not usually help us address the stress situation since it tends to get us off balance before we even can find our balance. In addition, it is counter to the ideas of resilience which wants us to focus on realistic solutions to upcoming challenges rather than catastrophizing and creating worst case scenarios.

You may still find yourself wishing folks a “Happy, Healthy, and Successful New Year” for the next several weeks as I will. Make sure that you are applying that meme to yourself so that you keep your focus on how you are going to make the year a good one, from day one.

© Richard Citrin, All rights reserved, 2016

    2 thoughts on “Don’t Let Pre-traumatic Stress Get Your Year Off to a Bad Start

    1. Pre-stress makes me think about the power of the imagination. Imagination is so powerful that we get a physcial sensation just from imagining things! If the imagination is that powerful and tied into how we hook up to our experience it would seem to me that we probably all use our imagination to get the upper hand with pre-stress too!

      YAY for imagination as a resilience tool, eh? So how bout that interview Rich! Love this stuff. You have really helped me!

      • Cynthia, Thanks for your comments and I agree about the power of imagination. Recognizing that it creates a physical sensation makes it all the more powerful!

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