5 ways your clothes can make you stressed

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

What is stress?

Stress is an emotion experienced when your mind's resources become busy with something then another thing tries to access those resources.

Here is a quick example: You are too focused on your computer trying to solve a work problem and someone beside you is making a lot of noise. In such a case your mind's resources are busy thinking about the problem and so your mind is unable to absorb any additional input from the external world. As a result the noise coming from the outside world causes stress.

There are uncountable reasons that could lead to stress but in all cases it would be a problem of being unable to receive an external input properly because your mind is already busy with something else.

Now what does all this has to do with clothes?
And how can your clothes make you stressed?

5 ways your clothes can make you stressed

  • 1) Trying to keep them clean: If you went to the street wearing a white shoes then a part of your mind's resources will be busy trying to let you avoid the dirt in the street. As long as you are wearing those shoes a part of your mind's resources will be busy trying to keep them clean. This is why you are more likely to get stressed if anything else tried to occupy your mind's resources at that time
  • 2) Trying to keep them tidy: Wearing a suit adds a lot of stress to your day simply because a part of your mind will always be thinking about keeping the suit tidy. When sitting on a chair your mind will be occupied with the idea your suit can get untidy as a result of any wrong move. This is also the reason why you feel relaxed when you take off your clothes at home. Its just that the resources that were allocated to watch over your clothes are now free. This is also why those who work while wearing suits are more likely to get stressed than those who don't
  • 3) Clothes that doesn't suit the weather: If you were wearing clothes that doesn't suit the weather then a part of your mind will be busy sensing the hot/cold weather and as a result you might get easily stressed. When you feel hot or cold an additional layer of stress is imposed on your mind
  • 4) Clothes and self image: If you believe your clothes doesn't make you look good, if you think you look too fat or too slim then a big part of your mind's resources will be locked thinking about how will people evaluate your looks! This is why i said in one of my articles that wearing clothes that make you look good can actually help you deliver a better presentation! (see also Self image problems)
  • 5) Clothes that are uncomfortable: Anything that annoys you or makes you uncomfortable occupies some of your mind's resources. Wearing uncomfortable clothes does the same thing. The more uncomfortable your clothes are the more likely you are to get stressed

How to reduce stress?

Awareness of the problem is a big part of the solution. Now that you know the factors that can make you stressed you need to work on reducing them. For example you can check the weather before choosing what to wear, you should only wear comfortable clothes and avoid anything that doesn't make you comfortable with your looks.

If you can chose what to wear at work then avoid suits and go for more comfortable clothes. I tried to work with pajamas and i noticed that i got much less stressed during the workday. (Don't do that if you don't own the company :D )

In short in order to reduce the amount of stress you experience during a day you need to keep your mind's resources as free as possible. Even if you encountered a new problem your mind will have enough resources to deal with it.

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