How to Combat Stress

Stress quote

In my opinion, one of the greatest downfalls in human nature is taking things too seriously, and that’s understandably so. We want the best for ourselves and our families, and when we fail at something or we can’t keep up, we put pressure on ourselves; pressure not only to do better, but pressure not to be failures. We dread being failures, even for the littlest things, which at that moment seem to be the be-all-or-end-all. Stress seems to be a natural part of life, invading our work life, our school life, our family life, and our friendships. And I’m sure many of you know that it is not a nice feeling or one that is healthy. So here are some simple reminders and ways to combat the stress that overwhelms our daily lives:

There is a light at the end of the tunnel… 

Things that stress you out won’t last forever. And however it goes, you will be able to pick yourself up again; you will succeed and be happy if you believe it and work for it.

Create an action plan…

Do not ignore the problem that is causing you stress, or try to numb your stress by drinking or smoking, because that is not going to make the problem go away in the long run (and you’ll have developed an unhealthy habit). Identify the problem, and create a step-by-step guide to solving what is making you stressed; and this includes emotional action plans, because not all problems are in our control. Be realistic with what you can do in one day, and do one thing at a time. Every time you accomplish something, give yourself a pat on the back. Every step is as important as the end result, and every little thing you accomplish will give you the motivation to do more and to continue feeling better. If something is left unfinished, do not focus on that, but focus on everything you have done.

Positivity is the best ingredient…

Focus on the positive things in your life, and note that the things that are making you stressed a) will not be there forever, b) do not need to determine how you look at your life and c) should not determine how you look at your life. You only have one life; do not give up, just change your perspective. Also, surround yourself with positive and supportive people, and positive vibes such as quotes around your house or your desk to help you.

Remember that failure is not always a bad thing…

Many people feel stressed because they are scared of failing at something, such as an exam or an important meeting, and therefore scared that they will ruin their whole life, so they put a lot of pressure on themselves. If things don’t work out, there is always a chance to be happy, there is always another opportunity, and there is always another path to get to where you want to go. You just have to persevere.

Learn to say ‘No’…

The word ‘Yes’ is good in a lot of cases, but if you have too much on your plate, those tasks that don’t need to be done specifically by you need to be kept off of your to-do list. Overcommitting yourself will not help you or whoever you are trying to help. Keep your priorities straight.

Get active…

Exercising such as running, swimming, boxing etc. can really help one to flush those frustrations out of your system, and to increase the endorphins that make you happy. Additionally, you can let your feelings out by talking to someone or writing them down. Anything to relieve them and keep you from bottling them up and having them explode later.

The importance of me-time…

The problem causing you stress can feel overwhelming, like it follows you everywhere. In addition to your plan of action, take time away from the problem doing something you love and enjoy, and make sure that you push away any thoughts about those stressful problems because this is time that you’ve designated away from it. Watch your favourite TV programme, or take a bath, anything to relax you and make you smile.

Get enough sleep…

Problems only seem worse when you’re tired and they seem less accomplishable to solve. Some ways to help you sleep include having no technology at least half an hour before bed or having a bath. If you feel those stressful feelings coming on, talk to someone about them or write them down in a journal, so that you can tell yourself that you’ve already been through your worries today, and now it is time to be calm and get some rest. Remember to reflect on all the good things that have happened and the things you have accomplished that day. Finishing the day on a positive note is the best policy.

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