Stress is something we’ve all experienced. Believe it or not, some stress can be good for you. Good stress or eustress motivates you and it helps you grow outside your comfort zone. An example of good stress is when you get promoted at work. It can be overwhelming and daunting at first, but you will learn a lot with your new role and develop new skills. Another example of good stress is when you’re moving to a new house. All the packing, moving, and decorating can be quite stressful, but in the end, all your hard work will be worth it.
The other kind of stress, distress, makes you unproductive and lose motivation to do anything. If you let this kind of stress consume you, it will not only affect you mentally, but also physically and emotionally.
Here are some ways on how to better manage stress :
Identify what’s causing your stress
Start by observing and writing down for a week the sources of your stress. Include a short detailed description of each situation. List down where you were when it happened, how it made you feel, and how you reacted to the situation. Some causes of stress can be obvious, such as uncertainty about the future or the threat of losing a job. In some cases, stress can be subtle but recurring. For people working at home, trying to find that balance to separate work from life or even a slow internet connection can cause stress.
Apply the 4 A’s of stress management
Avoid unnecessary stress. Learn how to say “no.” Know your limits and set firm boundaries.. Whether in your personal or professional life, taking on more than you can handle will definitely cause you stress.
Alter the situation. Communicate clearly and let people know your expectations. Express your feelings instead of keeping quiet just to keep the peace. Remember to use “I” statements when addressing someone about how you feel.
State your limitations in advance. For example, you can say, “I only have ten minutes to talk.”
Changing your standards and expectations of stressful situations can help you cope with stress. Adjust your standards. Perfectionism is a major source of avoidable stress. Stop setting yourself up for failure by demanding perfection. Set reasonable standards for yourself and others.
Look at the big picture. Ask yourself how important it will be in the long run. Will it matter in a month? A year? Is it really worth getting upset over? If the answer is no, focus your energy elsewhere.
Accept the things you can change.
Many things in life are beyond our control, particularly the behavior of other people. Instead of stressing out over them, focus on the things you can control such as the way you choose to react to problems.
Forgive yourself or others. Let go of anger and resentments. Free yourself from negative energy by forgiving and moving on.
Connect with people. Talk to a trusted friend or make an appointment with a therapist.
You may be thinking “why would I want to distract myself instead of solving my problems?” It’s actually not healthy to focus on your problems all the time. Give yourself a time during the day where you’ll think about solving your problems. Beyond that, allow your mind to rest and do things you love. Exercise, go for a walk, cook, bake, paint, read a book, play with your pet, or meet with your friends.
Stress is a normal reaction the body has when changes occur, resulting in physical, emotional and intellectual responses. Learn more on what you can do to manage your stress levels with our stress management course. Contact P2L today!