I hate to admit it, but stress is a natural part of life and expecting it to simply go away is not realistic. Stress is the body’s response to a real or perceived threat. It is meant to prepare us for some kind of action to get us out of danger. But most of the threats we face today aren’t something that we can fight or run away from. I mean you could run from your difficult boss or your other responsibilities (trust me we have all thought about it), but it likely wouldn’t make things easier. Modern day “threats” are usually problems that we have to work through. Just because you suffer from stress it doesn’t mean you have to let it dictate your life. Below are a few stress management tips that can help you if you find stress is having a negative impact on your life and happiness.
The best way to loosen up and relax is by exercising. This does not mean that you need to start doing intense cardio but a light jog, walk around the park or simply putting on some upbeat music and dancing around works great. Pick an activity that is fun for you. While exercising, make a conscious effort to not think about work or any other thing in your life that induces stress, but rather focus your thoughts on something that calms you.
Another very effective way of managing stress is to talk about it. Instead of letting thoughts and emotions build up inside you, choose to talk to a friend, family member or even your therapist. Talking about these things can help us make sense of the situation and figure out how to sort it out. It also allows us to understand that if something is beyond our control then worrying or obsessing about it isn’t going to get us anything but stress. By talking about it you may also begin to see the problem from a different perspective and adjust your expectations accordingly.
From personal experience, one of the most important things is to have faith in the belief that nothing is permanent. Knowing and truly believing this is so liberating that you instantaneously feel free and you might actually feel the stress leaving your body. Whenever you are in a stressful situation, just calm yourself by thinking that you are strong and this too shall pass.
It is also important to remember that life is not all about work and money. Take out some time just for yourself every day and do what you love. It can be something as simple as enjoying a cup of tea or reading a book, but do something just for you. Everyone has responsibilities and there will always be more work to do and more money to make, but your health is the most important thing. You are the most important thing. So, make time for yourself!
Finally, you may need to make serious changes in your life if it is becoming too stressful. Nothing should be more important than your peace of mind and only you have the power to make things better for yourself. Identify the things that are the cause of your stress and learn to set boundaries. For instance, if it’s certain people then filter them out of your life. If your job is taking its toll and making you ill, maybe it is time for you to make a change. You might be afraid of change but really it can be very liberating. Learn to move forward and let go.
Have faith that stress is something that can be manageable if you choose to recognize it for what it is. Make the small but powerful changes in your life and I promise that you will start to feel liberated from the stress-causers around you!