Unfinished Business

Stress Management

About Stress

Types of Stress

Managing Stress

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Unfinished business can include:

  • Tasks
  • Unexpressed Emotions
  • Personal relationships
  • Delaying decisions
Taking Care of Unfinished Business

Tension created by unfinished business in our lives is sometimes significant. At other times, we pay it little attention. However, these little tensions add up, and a lot of unfinished business can increase your stress level. We can greatly reduce some of our stress by taking care of that unfinished business. What exactly is unfinished business? One type consists of tasks that need to be completed. A second type exists in our emotional lives. This includes emotions that we may not have expressed and interpersonal relationships. Anger is an emotion in this area. If you don't express it or give vent to it or deal with it, it doesn't go away.

It stays with you, even without your even being aware of it, and it can be experienced as added tension in your life and many times as emotional difficulties such as depression and physical problems.

Another emotion we often fail to express is grief. Unexpressed grief, like anger, stays with us and takes its toll until we express it. This is a great drain on our energy and is much like not allowing a wound to heal. Expressing grief is an important aspect of our lives.

Another type of unfinished business stems from personal relationships that lack completion or closure.

A fourth type consists of decisions that need to be made. Whenever you have a decision to make—even minor —you must expend effort, and that results in some stress. More stress comes when we worry and fret over decisions.

Stress Relief and Dealing with Unfinished Business

  1. "Just do it!" as the Nike commercial says. Clear your desk of uncompleted work. When you find yourself using energy worrying about all these things that aren't finished, make a list of them and set out to accomplish them, one by one. Many times, tackling the toughest one first helps some people, whereas going in the opposite direction is better for others. Do what's best for you.

  2. Set reasonable, short-term goals to complete tasks.

  3. Make decisions. The two major reasons for postponing decisions are:

  4. (a) we are afraid to risk making a wrong decision, and

    (b) we know what the decision must be and we don't like it and therefore avoid it.

    A thought to remember: The risks that you run by not making a decision may be greater than that involved in the decision itself. Also, the unpleasant reality you are avoiding may well not be as bad as the unpleasantness that comes from avoiding it. How many times have you looked back at things that you have worried excessively over or decisions that you had trouble making, only to find that they ended up being rather insignificant in your life.



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