Everyone experiences stress. How you manage the stress is what is important. Managing stress is about taking charge of your life. Take charge of your thoughts, emotions and the way you deal with things. Empower yourself by realizing that you can control your life.
Start taking control by following these three steps
- Identify the sources of stress in your life. Are you worried about your work life in general, a situation at work, your overall home life or a particular situation at home? Is your stress a short term problem or a long term problem? Is procrastination part of your routine leading to stress? Are you taking on too many responsibilities?
- Identify how you deal with the stress in your life. Do you try to manage it with healthy ways (exercising, dancing, laughing, reading, journaling, spending time with friends) or do you deal with it in unhealthy ways (overeating or not eating enough, drinking or sleeping too much, withdrawing from or lashing out at friends and family).
After you identify the source of the stress and how you deal with stress, you are ready to take the next step.
- Make a plan on how to deal with your stress in healthy ways:
- Regular exercise is always helpful in relieving stress. It is a time to get out of your head and focus on moving your body in an active way.
- Make time for fun and relaxation. Spend time doing the activities you enjoy with the people you like being around. Hopefully, you will enjoy what you are doing as well as keep your mind occupied. Remember, worrying does not take your problems away. It only reduces the time you spend feeling at peace and participating in the things you enjoy.
- Try to avoid unnecessary stress by learning your limits and saying no. Do not take on more than you can handle. Also learn how to ask for help when you are doing too much. At work, maybe a co-worker could be helpful, at home maybe your spouse, a neighbor or a friend.
- Look at your to do list and prioritize. Make a distinction between what must get done and what should get done.
- Express your feelings. Communicate with the people around you. If something or someone is bothering you then find a way to have a conversation about that situation or with that person in a respectful way.
- Reframe the problem. Try to view the situation in a more positive perspective. For example instead of being upset and stressed about being stuck in traffic for an extra half hour, pause and look at it as an opportunity to listen to a new CD or to call a friend.
- Focus on the positives in your life. When you feel like stress is taking over, take a deep breath and reflect on the things in life that you appreciate. This is a tip that helps put the situation in perspective.
- When you are faced with an obstacle, take a moment and clarify and decide if this is a real problem or a nuisance. Making this distinction can be helpful in putting the problem in perspective. If the problem is determined to be a nuisance, then the stress level might go down.
- Start a stress journal. Each time you feel stressed about a situation or person, write about it in your journal. It can be used as a way to “vent” by getting it out on paper. It is also a way to track the stressors in life and you might notice some patterns. Some items to write: What caused your stress? How did you feel emotionally? Physically? How did you respond? Where you able to do something to make yourself feel better?
If you are already dealing with stress in healthy ways, then you are taking an important step to coping. As Mary Engelbreit said, “If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.” It might not be simplistic for you to just change the way you think about something or to try to stop your thoughts from turning towards worrying on your own. If that is your situation, then a professional trained in stress management would be beneficial.
Did you know that stressed spelled backwards is desserts? So turn your stress around and live your life on a positive and sweet path where you are in control.
The list of suggestions for coping with stress is a way to get started. Use the tips to help with your goal of being in charge of your life and not letting stress control you. If you have a creative, healthy way of coping with stress that works for you, please share by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and I might share your tip on my Facebook page.
If you are in need of some professional assistance in coping with the stressors in your life, then give me a call for a complimentary phone consultation and then we can set up an appointment. Don’t let stress take over your life, call me today and together we will work on helping you gain back control.
Your Relationship Expert,