Thought of the Day: Stress

Fill head with worries

Sometimes we have to push ourselves. And sometimes we have to pay the price. Stress isn’t all bad; it can spark our mind and body into action in response to a problem or situation. But high levels of stress can have the opposite effect, causing our mind and body to shut down in isolation, fear, lethargy, anger, and depression. Stress shouldn’t ever be a positive indicator to demonstrate how hard we’re working. Stress shouldn’t ever become a shadow that haunts us. It’s much more valuable to look after ourselves. It’s ok to take a breath to sit, to think, to re-prioritise, to re-energise. We’re designed to need a rest. It’s ok to admit that we cannot do everything. We cannot place these pressures on ourselves. It doesn’t make us weak or incapable. Stress will make us weak and incapable in the long term. Don’t let it break you.

(Image: Pinterest)

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Worry won’t save us

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If we tallied it all up, we’d most likely find that we spend a lot of time worrying – about things in our control, things out of our control, and even things we can’t yet place in either of those categories. For the things in our control, we should take comfort in the fact that we are in charge and that we are capable enough to handle them. For the things out of our control, we should accept our limitations and learn to adapt. For all the angst we build up about the future and the unknown, let it go. If what we worry about materialises, take action. Take each day as it comes and revel in the blessings, possibilities and opportunities that each day holds. Don’t waste those treasures on what might not even be. Worry won’t save us, only rob us.

(Image: quotesvalley.com)

Four things that steal the moment

Moments quote

When life is made up of moments, why are so many of us wasting them? Here’s a few ideas. It’s not going to be easy to crack these, but we can at least be conscious of what we’re letting consume our minds and distract us from the moments we have:

  1. Procrastination – One of our biggest mistakes is failing to act when the light bulb turns on. Acting on inspiration, intuition and ideas means we own the moment! Don’t wait around for tomorrow. Let’s face it, we’re no more likely to act tomorrow, we’re only more likely to lose our momentum. And then that moment will be gone.
  2. Worry – When we have a problem, we naturally panic. And we let that panic eat at us, because we can’t think about anything else but the problem. But if we worry too much, we not only lose sight of the solution, but we also lose the moment. Deal with the issue head on – and if that time has to wait, put the issue out of your mind until you can start. Enjoy your moments stress free.
  3. Fear – Many of us try to mask our fears, but the truth is they govern so many of the roads we follow and the chances we take. And sometimes we’re so comfortable with our fears that we don’t even realise it’s happening. But always go after what you want and what you deserve. Give it a go. Because fear is just a wall in the mind and walls can be torn down with a bit of a push.
  4. Expectations – Sometimes, we have super high expectations of a person, an event, or a place. But in such an unexpected world, chances are we could be disappointed. Instead of having low expectations or no expectations at all, try to be open-minded and positive. That way the moment won’t be ruined if it takes an sudden turn.

(Image: Pinterest)

Thought of the Day: Pressure

Squeeze an orange quote

Our unpolished self is easily exposed when we are put under pressure. It might be the pressure of a family member, a whole culture, ourselves, a problem, that turns us into our worst or best selves. As a result, we might encounter high levels of stress, a shut-down mentality, a rebellious nature, or straight-out conformity. Equally, we might feel compelled to stand up for our principles, or driven to excel, exceed, and perform. But these reactions aren’t hereditary; they are choices. If we do not like they way we feel or react to pressures of any kind, then we have the power to change, if we consciously decide to and act on it. Take deep breaths. Concentrate on your own thoughts, not other people’s. Believe in yourself. Let the pressure guide you to greatness.

(Image: Created myself using Picmonkey; Picture: galleryhip.com)

Coping with Feeling Overwhelmed

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Feeling overwhelmed can take a number of forms, often panic, stress or frustration. It is a natural reaction to feeling incapable and out of depth, feeling tired and buried in trouble, or feeling tremendous loss, confusion, or great uncertainty. Here are a few things to keep in mind the next time you feel overwhelmed:

  1. Take a minute to breathe – Whether you need to have a moment of panic, stress, or crying, do it and then let yourself have some time to calm down. When we sit down, breathe, and maybe even talk about it with someone, we can begin to see the issue a little more clearly and positively. Rushing into the problem or ignoring your emotions will only make it worse later on.
  2. Imagine the best outcome to the situation – A lot of the time, we feel overwhelmed because we are always expecting the worst. It’s easier said than done, but try to stay positive. If the ‘best outcome’ is too much pressure, try imagining an outcome that will please you at the very least. This way, we will become more motivated and proactive, and ultimately reach that better outcome more easily than we would when we expect the worst and feel as if we shouldn’t even bother.
  3. Remember that the worser outcome will not be as bad as you think – It’s in our nature to create problems in our head that are enhanced by our imagination. It’s important to remember that even if our plans don’t work out the way we hope they will, that doesn’t mean our life won’t work out the way we hope it will. Life is full of learning curves and trips down unexpected passes. Whatever happens, you will be better than ok.
  4. Break it down – Whether it is a problem or a goal that is making you feel overwhelmed, break it down into digestible pieces. Plan it out and write it down. Then, you can tackle each piece individually, actually accomplish it, and before you know it, the problem not only seems less monstrous, but is dealt with much more quickly.

When do you feel most overwhelmed and how do you cope with feeling overwhelmed? Let me know in the comments!

(Image: imgarcade.com)

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.