Day 1342: Subjective Stress

Last week, I got my yearly review at work, which could have been a source of subjective stress.

Instead, my subjective opinion is that it was an excellent review, which reduced my stress.

My supervisor objectively stressed my need to reduce my subjective stress, as follows:

Goal for next year: Decrease subjective stress level. Keep mindful of her strengths and accomplishments and resource limitations while managing the intense level of requests so she can continue to provide excellent patient care with less stress to herself.

I subjectively want to stress this, here and now:

  • I subjectively think that “decrease subjective stress level” is an important subject for my supervisor to bring up.
  • The hospital where I work can be very stressful, subjectively and objectively.
  • I constantly explore the subject of stress reduction in group and individual therapy.
  • Like many health care professionals, I am better at helping others decrease stress than my own subjective self (which has been the subject of many articles in the health care field).

How is your subjective stress level?  What increases it?  How might you decrease it?

I’ve been thinking about the subject of stress a lot lately. My subjective opinion is that my stress level is higher than usual because my  son is leaving home to attend Edinburgh University this month and I’m having open heart surgery soon afterwards. Both these sources of stress of  have been the subject of many recent blog posts here.

Subjectively, it occurs to me that both those stressful events are objectively stressful. That is, most people would agree they would cause stress to anybody.  “Subjective stress” is the stress I might add to that stress by worrying about subjects I can’t control (like whether my son will receive his student visa in time before his scheduled flight on Saturday), or by subjecting myself to fortune telling, catastrophizingblaming, comparisons, all-or-nothing thinking, personalizing,  mind reading, and all the other cognitive distortions common to human subjects (which have been the subject of many of my previous blog posts).

I’d like to stress that I often decrease my subjective stress level by taking subjective pictures of my surroundings and sharing them here, like so:













Did any of those subjective photos increase your subjective stress level?  Decrease it?

Subjectively, I believe this number from Stephen Sondheim’s Company is a good example of subjective stress making an objectively stressful situation (a wedding) more stressful:


You leaving a subjective comment on any subject might reduce my subjective stress level.   Shall we find out?

Objective thanks to all who helped me create this subjective post and to you — of course! — for subjecting yourself to my blog, today.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 45 Comments

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45 thoughts on “Day 1342: Subjective Stress

  1. You are amazing! Congratulations on the excellent performance review and on identifying some helpful goals. Sometimes, stress is part of our lives for a while and there is no use stressing about not being able to eliminate it; it is just going to be with us for a time. Like the current we paddle against when we turn our canoe homewards. It means life is running fast and strong and it is drawing on all our senses. Your life has a very strong current these days and you are gripping that paddle firmly and with vigour.

    Sending you a hug.

  2. I often wonder whether blogging daily, something that should relieve stress, ever causes you stress.
    That got me thinking about internal and external commitments. External commitments would be the goals from your review: someone else holds you to those. Blogging daily is a commitment you’ve made to yourself. But do you ever want to take back the cake, burn the shoes, and boil the rice?
    That could cause your regular readers some stress.

  3. Wish you a non-stressful weekend Ann 🙂

  4. Nice take on subjective vs. objective stress, Ann. I trust that you will find a way to deal with both. Hugs to you. ❤️

  5. I can understand that it could be worrisome for hoping for your son to get his visa in time before the flight. Hope you son gets it in time.

  6. having been
    subjected to your review,
    i smile 🙂

  7. René Brandon (Mr.)

    G’day Ann, Just subscribed, after quick scan of your blog.Open heart surgery, eh? I had near fatal HA 10/08, and open heart surgery 11/08. Then, had pacemaker implant 10/15. Wrong one! Right implant two weeks ago. With good doctors, which you seem to have, you might want to look forward to your OHS as giving you a significant extension to your life! Post surgery, you will feel the weight lift from your mental equilibrium, it will enhance your life, and, most importantly, reduce your objective and subjective stress!

  8. Oh, Ann, that old devil STRESS. My blood pressure is very high, and I am trying to get it under control with diet and exercises and deep breathing. However, that stress factor is also too high. Perhaps writing a list of stressful feelings and the reasons for them and then looking at them intelligently and figuring out ways to deal with each one might prove helpful. It’s worth a try!

  9. Glad the review went well with minimum stress Ann. So many of us teach others the most important lessons for our selves. May you listen to yourself without stressing over it 😉
    Now that was one stressful bride 💓

  10. I wonder if people who give so much tend to worry more about others as well ~ but then I see such great people surrounding such people like yourself and think perhaps the opposite is true 🙂 However, there are two humongous moments with your son & Edinburgh University (too cool, will be an incredible springboard to life) and then your open heart surgery which sounds so very daunting, but too will give you a springboard into something special as well. Wish you a glorious weekend!

  11. Always good to reduce stress!

  12. Objective?, Subjective?.. You probably appreciate as well as anyone that all that matters is what we do with it.

    What is the end product, distress or eustress? The distress of the danger of any surgery or the eustress of anticipating your heart being more efficient? The distress of your son being half way around the world or the eustress of appreciating what a wonderful opportunity he has earned/been given to study in Scotland and how that will shape his life?

    Easier said than done, I acknowledge, but don’t we have the final authority to interpret what is going on around us?

  13. Freedom from subjective stress is a good objective. Seriously, your life has more than its share of the objective variety

  14. I kept thinking about there being two kinds of stress: Good and Bad, but no stress means you’re dead. 😀 You made me laugh. From my perspective it’s good stress. I believe from your perspective it would be decreased stress. 😉

  15. smooch to take away here – and this was something I have noticed for a while… “Like many health care professionals, I am better at helping others decrease stress than my own subjective self…” – and your humor here was fun too = like this “like to stress that I often decrease my subjective stress level by…”

    oh, and the video was really enjoyable…. “I’m not getting married… don’t tell Paul…”

  16. I learned a great deal from the comments. I think Derrick is right. There is enough objective stress. We don’t need to create some. Mindfulness checks!!

  17. Pingback: Day 1344: Reckless Abandon | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

  18. Hi Ann. I have always blundered through this life taking a day at a time. So nice to meet you. Thank you for wanting to follow my poetry adventures. Very interested in all things paranormal conspiracy theories and observing life! Writing a passion that keeps me sane and alive! Peace and Best Wishes. The Foureyed Poet.

  19. I find myself struggling with the stress more and more at the hospital I work at. I can’t seem to find a good way to not let certain matters get the best of me. I want to fight so hard to fix issues out of my control. I started my blog a couple days ago and have vented about work. I think it will be a positive hobby.

    • I’m not stressing about missing your comment until today. I hope you are making progress reducing the stress in your life. All the best to you.

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