Make it Personal

Identify the Cause of Your Stress: Internal or External

Do you ever feel like your own thoughts are the root of your stress?

I deal with my internal and external stress differently.

Sometimes a situation isn’t as bad as it seems from your perspective. Most of my worrying comes from my own thoughts and my own expectations.

When I am working to understand what the internal cause of my stress, I focus more on re-evaluating my goals and the reality of my situation.

For external problems, I often choose to organize my tasks so that I can increase efficiency and determine what aspects of a project are causing me to worry.


I always want to make everything perfect. Sometimes you just have to focus on doing a job well. As they say, an artist’s work is never done. There will always be something to improve, but eventually, you have to move on.


I often get stressed when I am given confusing directions or instructions that do not give enough structure and do not define expectations well. I have to focus my attention on what I CAN do.

I like to stop for a moment, listen to a calming song, and take out my planner or calendar. I write a list of what I need to get done and I start with the most stressful or the most time-consuming item. Oh, and you can’t forget to grab that calming tea!


We all have different styles, talents, expectations, and perspectives. If we only focus on what we can’t do compared to others we will never focus on the unique things God has made each of us capable of doing.

If we learn to love God, our neighbor, and ourselves in the way God intended then we can find strength in our weakness. Doing so allows us to appreciate the good in others and appreciate the qualities God has given us. Every situation can help us grow in love and humility.

Always choose to see the good. We grow when we go through difficult situations.


  • Alexandria Davis

    Hi! This reply might be a little on the long side, but I loved your post! As a person who stresses about everything , I can definey relate. I honestly found my self saying “me too!” A lot while reading this! I am also a perfectionist and because of this, a lot of my stressors stem from that. This stress from the need to be perfect all the time is the reason why I make so many mistakes. For example, when I first started my job I was so overwhelmed with fear and stress of not doing a great that I literally was shaking and freaking out. I really liked what you said at the end of this post, you reminded me of how God made us uniquely different for a reason. I will be definitely taking that advice and have that in mind the next time I get overwhelmed with the thought that I can’t do this as good as someone else could. It’s nice to know that someone else goes through the same stressors as me!

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