Stress has the potential to be a killer so it’s not to be taken lightly. That said, a little bit of stress can work a treat. The main thing is to turn ‘stress is killing me’ into something manageable… so here are a few ideas to consider.
Why do we get stressed?
Stress tends to rear its head when we want things to go one way and they don’t. From relationships to business deals to bills, we sit and decide how things ‘should’ be and freak out (internally &/or externally) when they don’t.
You can only change what you have control over. So for those moments that are outside of your control, that have already happened and are unchangeable, stop stressing! The partner that didn’t love you the way you wanted to be loved, the business that didn’t take off the way your business plan demonstrated it would; let it go. Getting stressed about it will not change anything other than your health & wellbeing.
If you’ve got bills that need paying but not the finances in your wallet to cover them, call the company and have an honest conversation. Trust me; you’ll get more out of the call than the tight knot in your stomach that threatens to render you incapable of thinking.
ACTION: Create a list of things that are bothering you. Go through the list and split out the things you can take action on (such as bills – making the call) and things that are pent up frustrations relating to past events you have no control over.
For the list you have no control over, take one final look, then tear it up and throw it away. It’s over, now let it go. For the list where you can take some sort of action, get to it! No more head in the sand, no more avoidance. After the initial fear and discomfort you will literally feel the stress leaving your body.
Event + Reaction = Outcome
We are faced with events everyday. A typical example is your train into work is cancelled meaning you’ll be late. How does that leave you feeling?
Having spent plenty of time people watching and also reflecting on my previous London commuting days I think the general feelings are frustration, anger, disbelief and irritability. If these are your reactions what are the outcomes likely to be? Not good ones! You end up shouting at someone for no good reason. You lose focus on your work because you’re so rattled by the morning journey…. and so it goes on.
So here’s the power YOU have. You can react differently to the same event. You don’t have to get frustrated or angry. You don’t have to be irritable. These may all be natural reactions (fight/flight mode) but if you are self aware you can ask yourself ‘what can I do in this situation?’ ‘Focusing on what is possible as oppose to what is not will inevitably change the outcome. Yes, you may well still be late but if you have remained calm and collected, you are more likely to get to your destination in a decent state of mind and be able to cope with the rest of the day with ease.
ACTION: Choose your reactions if you want better outcomes.
Be careful who you spend time with
If you are surrounded by people who are continuously moaning about life, their situation, other people and anything else that comes to mind there is every chance you are becoming a sponge for their negativity and that will definitely put you on a downer, producing a degree of stress; and it’s not even yours!
Care about who you spend time with and how much time you give them. Of course it is right to be there for the people you love and who matter however if they are the ones draining your tank, it is your responsibility to put some boundaries in place to protect your mental wellbeing.
ACTION: Ask yourself – Who might be draining my positive energy & raising my stress levels? What am I going to do to manage this? And then do it!
I’m sure the list of things that can stress you out might go on way longer than these examples but:
- If it is something to do with the past, get past it (let it go)
- If it something that requires your attention, give it
- If it is an event requiring a reaction that will produce an outcome, choose to react positively
- If it’s the people around you, make some changes & set some boundaries
- If its workload, ask for assistance or at least express the challenges you are facing (with someone)
And find things at the end of each day that help you de-stress;
- Good conversation
- Quality time with the ones you love
- A healthy meal (some of what your body needs to re-balance itself)
Remember; a little bit of stress can be good for you but a whole lot could be killing you…
Be Stress Free!