Even though we all tend to live our lives with a lot of stress, it’s not only possible as it is advisable to manage it. It seems that anywhere you look at you just see other sources of stress. Either at work, finding a balance between work and family, the bills that just continue to come in. So, how can you deal with so much stress? How can you, all of a sudden, remain calm?
The truth is that stress management only regards one thing: taking charge of your life, emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. Although it may seem impossible to achieve it, it really isn’t.
One thing that you need to take into consideration when you are trying to deal with stress is that not all techniques work for everyone the exact same way. So, here are 3 tips on how to deal with stress:
#1 IDENTIFY THE SOURCE
When you don’t know the sources of the stress in your life, you can’t get to the bottom of the problem to solve it. The truth is that you’re probably identifying some on your mind right now which can include moving, changing jobs, or even if you’re going through a divorce or just lost someone who you really cared about. However, these are only the most evident sources. Usually, the most problematic ones are related to your behaviors, emotions, and thoughts.
When you have problems identifying the main sources, you can start a stress journal. So, every time you start to feel stressed out, annotate it along with the cause for the stress, how you felt, and how you reacted.
#2 Identify your strategies to deal with stress
When most people are affected by stress, they tend to cope in many different unhealthy ways. While some people tend to smoke, others drink too much, sleep too much, eat junk food, procrastinate, take out their stress on others, isolate themselves, among others.
If you see yourself doing any of these things when you’re stressed out, it’s time to change your strategy.
#3 The 4 A’s – Avoid, Alter, Adapt & Accept
One of the things that you need to understand is that while some situations can become a source of stress, there are others that you can control because they tend to happen at predictable times. For example, if you’re having a meeting with your boss or a job interview, when you go to a family gathering, among others. So, you can prepare yourself for these situations and decide what you want to do:
– Avoid unnecessary stress: You just need to learn to say “no” to things that you know in advance that will stress you out. Plus, you can and should take control of your environment. For example, if you think someone is consistently causing you a lot of stress, you can avoid being with that specific individual.
– Alter the situation: When you don’t have the chance to control the situation, the least you can do is to change things and how they go. This usually involves changing some of your behaviors like simply expressing your feelings instead of keeping them to yourself. If someone or something bothers you, you can say it in a respectful way. One of the things that tend to cause most stress to many people is the fact they just can’t find a balance between work, family, and social life. However, without this balance, you have the recipe for a burnout.
– Adapt yourself: When you can’t change what makes you stressed out, you need to adapt your way to handle the situation. When you are able to do it, you regain the control of the environment and of your life. When you have a problem, for example, try to see the big picture and try to look at them from a positive perspective.
– Accept what you just can’t change: Even though you can control a lot of things in your life, there are others that you just can’t. No one can. So, just look to the upside and learn to forgive. Everyone makes mistakes and you really don’t end up gaining anything for being angry with people having resentments.