We all experience stress in our lives whether it be in our personal or professional lives. One thing is true for all types of stress: it hurts your health and it is counterproductive to your success. The great news is that you are NOT powerless.
Let’s chat about some effective stress management techniques to make stress work for you rather than against you.
What is Stress?
Stress is your body’s reaction to changes in your life. The body reacts to these changes with mental, physical, and emotional responses.
A small amount of stress can be beneficial by motivating you to perform well. But multiple challenges daily can push you beyond your ability to cope. Your body reacts to stress by releasing hormones.
These hormones make your brain more alert, causing your muscles to tense, and increase your pulse.
EUSTRESS VS. DISTRESS
What is Eustress?
Eustress is moderate psychological stress interpreted as being beneficial for the experiencer.
What is Distress?
Distress is overwhelming stress interpreted as one’s mental, physical, and emotional resources are inadequate to meet demands.
Three Steps to Stress Management
Determine the stressors in your life.
Identify ways to reduce the stressors.
Make changes and prioritize your life accordingly.
HOW TO DEAL WITH STRESS
Talk it out with a friend, boss, or yourself: good relationships with friends and your boss are important to a healthy lifestyle. If talking to a friend or a boss is not an option, talk it out with yourself, ask yourself why you are stressed out, determine what needs to be done to complete the task at hand, and first and foremost tell yourself that everything will be okay.
2. Learn to Say No:
You don’t have to say yes to everything. If it doesn’t help you achieve your goals, it really is all right to say no.
3. Be Active:
When you exercise, your brain releases endorphins which trigger a positive response in your body. Exercise doesn’t mean that you need to get up and run a marathon, even a short walk around the block will do the trick.
Give yourself just 5-10 minutes per day to meditate. Allow yourself some “ME TIME.” Meditation is a practice where an individual focuses their mind on a particular object, thought, or activity to achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm state. If you don’t know how to meditate yet, there are plenty of videos on YouTube and Headspace is a fantastic app!
5. Try to be Positive:
Look for the positives in life and write down the things you are grateful for in your life -- even if they are just small things like the sun shining or the great takeout you had last night.
6. Accept the Things That You Can’t Control:
Changing a difficult situation isn't always possible. Try to concentrate on the things you do have control over. For example, you do not have control over the COVID-19 pandemic so you shouldn’t stress over not being able to travel and being in quarantine as these things are not in your control.
7. Listen to Music:
Everyone has their favorite playlist or favorite song that puts a smile on their face! Playing music has a positive effect on the brain and body. It has been shown to lower blood pressure, and reduce cortisol which is a hormone linked to stress.
REMEMBER you are the author of your story. Taking charge of yourself changes your story into one that is full of boldness, magic, and power.