Microstress is an accumulation of small events that build over time.
They are seemingly insignificant obstacles that we easily overcome. On their own, they’re not so bad.
Our bodies are extremely good at navigating stress – big events that trigger a flight/flight/freeze response.
Our bodies have no clue what to do with microstress.
It looks like this:
- The late-night email from your boss requesting a report for 8 am, so you sacrifice sleep and family to deliver on time.
- The frantic text from your kid that they forgot their shoes for basketball practice and need you to drop everything to bring them.
- The extra time you spend fielding calls from team members who need to air frustrations about the latest company reorg.
Microstress has one key cause – important people in our lives. It’s good to help our team. It’s good to be there for our family.
Because each of these small demands takes a toll, we need to watch our tendency to be “everything to everyone”.
Set some boundaries and create a little margin in your life.
P.S. Every month, I address key challenges of high achievers and discussion questions to help change perspective and drive the momentum in the right direction. Subscribe to The [recovering] Overachiever on LinkedIn.