Everyone is going to experience stress at some point. Might as well learn how to manage stress
Learning to manage stress is imperative. We have all experienced those moments where stress just takes over. Some are affected more than others. But it’s real. Stress is something that I had to learn more about in order to protect my own health. In learning about it, I came across some great information that I decided to implement into my own life.
I want to share these real life tips with hopes that it can help you as much as they have helped me.
According to the American Psychological Association, 75% of adults have suffered traumatic stress within the past month. 35% of People report experiencing chronic work stress. We know that stress is taking place in our lives and sometimes, it becomes too overwhelming. If we do not learn how to deal with it correctly we can end up causing damage our own health.
Before we can make any type of improvement over our stress levels, we need to gain an understanding of what stress is exactly first.
What is Stress?
Hans Selye A 20th Century endochronoligist is seen as the founder of our modern views of stress. He defines stress as an “adaptive response” one that moves from flight to fight. Another words, something can take place that creates stress. From here, your body will either choose to fight whatever the situation is, or run and get back to safety.
Stress in a nutshell is anything a person perceives to be a threat. Each of us react to things differently and stress is all relative. Whatever you perceive to be a threat, is not necessarily a threat to me. This the key here. There can be a big difference between what you perceive and what threat actually exists in front of you. Learning more about yourself and how you handle stress can be a very beneficial habit that you instill within yourself.
Learning how to handle stress is going to pay off as you grow in your life. You will be better equipped to handle day to day stressors that can quickly build up over time if not addressed correctly. As subjective as stress can be from person to person, so can the variety of ways on handling stress.
I have learned from experience that if you do not pay attention and bring awareness to the stress that sits within your life, it will eventually catch up to you.
The following are a few effective tips on how to manage stress.
Identify Your Perceived Threats
In identifying exactly what stress is, we learned — anything that your brain perceives to be a threat will cause stress. Once the treat is gone, the stress should go away too. When the mind begins to anticipate a perceived threat, you get anxiety. Basically, your body reacts to your perception of a threat — not necessarily the reality.
If you can learn to identify your “threats” then you can move towards identifying why you see those things as threats to begin with. What is it within you that feels like you cannot handle those particular threats? Getting to these answers will provide you with clarity. Now you’ll have something to work with and improving upon.
Not All Stress Is Bad
This one is a powerful tip. We hear the word “stress” and we know that it is not good. But, did you ever stop to think that if we change the way we look at stress, we can actually benefit from some of it. I have learned over time, that stress is necessary. We need stress in our lives. Feeling stressed not only points out your weaknesses, but it also increases your awareness and focus. When you have something important that needs to get done correctly and it is really important to you — stress becomes your best friend. The increase in awareness and focus can help you to perform better. That’s only if you learn to channel it properly. If you can change your framework on how you view stress, then you can learn to use it to your advantage.
Stress Shows That You Care
The next time you get stressed, try to pause for a second and ask yourself how much do I care about this? Often times, when we are stressed out and anxious, it is because we are reacting towards something that we really care about. This helps you to understand what is stressing you out and it will often reveal just how much you care about something in particular.
Consider Getting a Dog
Having a loyal companion by your side is something that will bring you at ease. If stress is something that really affects you in your day to day, consider getting a dog. Dogs are great emotional support animals. Having one in your home and by your side, will really improve your overall mental and emotional health. It is definitely an option to consider. I am allergic to my dog and I would never trade her for anything. She is a big dog, and even with all her craziness, she makes our home an even better place just because of her presence.
Chronic stress is not good. One thing is to feel stressed because you have a big event coming up, it’s a whole other animal when you are feeling stressed daily. If you are feeling stress on a daily (chronic stress), you need to take action towards correcting this as soon as possible. Chronic stress brings about all of the different health risks that we hear so often about. Daily consistent exercise will make a tremendous positive impact on your stress levels and your ability to manage stress properly. This applies to a big event coming up, where you feel stressed. And it also applies towards chronic stress. Breaking a nice sweat will transform your whole state. Even if you hate the thought of exercising, or breaking a sweat, you should incorporate this tip. I personally believe it to be the MOST effective one here. If you are just going to choose one of these tips to implement, pick up exercise if you haven’t already.
Build A Routine
I have learned through trial and error and daily reflection, that the times I have felt stressed out, is usually because of a lack of direction. I can lose my footing very easily sometimes and that throws me off course.
By having a solid morning routine in place and an evening routine in place, I can get back on course quicker. When you are running in different directions and not really getting anywhere productive, this can create stress. What I have found that best fits to combat this vicious cycle, is getting a strong daily routine in place. If you put time into putting together a routine with specific habits that move you forward and you execute daily with discipline, you will see huge results.
Spend Time With Your Loved Ones
Spending time with your family should be something that reduces your stress. If it increases your stress, then you might have a problem there. In times of stress, I like to bring my spouse and my children in even closer. Spending time with them makes me feel better. Something that we do daily as a family, is we like to go on a little walk with the dog together. Getting some sun, and talking with one another is always a great time. Just spending time with the people you love most is something that can really bring you to a happy place.
Improve Your Sleep
I have lost count to the amount of times that I have felt stress it is linked directly to a poor night(s) of sleep. Slacking on your sleep is something that will reveal itself in many ways through your day. You can get grumpy, frustrated, unmotivated, anxious and stressed out easily. We think it is some outside mystical force that is taking place in the universe — but its not 🙄
A legitimate reason that you are experiencing all of this stress is because you may be skimping on your sleep. Hold yourself accountable to get 8-9 hours of sleep for one week straight. I am confident you will notice a significant difference in your ability to manage stress. Try it out!
The next time you feel stress coming upon you, immediately take your thoughts to a state of gratitude. Start giving thanks for all of the wonderful things that you have in your life that we often take for granted. Go over everything that really means something to you. This can be your health, your home, your family, your faith, your pets, your friends, your job, transportation, electricity, walking, jogging etc. The list can really just go on and on if you slow down and give it thought. There is always something that we can give thanks for, that really means something to us. Heck, give thanks for being able to go through stress and adversity. It is a feeling of awareness and makes you feel alive. Always find a way to be grateful during times of stress.
Increase Your Water Intake
Water has many benefits. Our bodies are made of more than 50% water! The importance of hydrating properly cannot be overemphasized. I bet you reading this can quickly go over your water intake over the past 7 days and will realize you are slacking on your water intake. If you are one of the few drinking adequate amounts of water daily, then keep it up! A dehydrated body can really affect your mental state and this can lead towards unnecessary stress levels. If you are not drinking enough water, look into purchasing a nice sized water bottle that you can take with you places. This can really improve your stress levels and stress responses. When we are well hydrated, we handle and process things better.
Download Positive Information To Your Brain
I try to do this daily and I believe in it whole heartedly. The reason I believe in it so much, is because like all of these tips, I have been implementing this stuff for years. Over time, I have learned what works and what doesn’t. A great way to manage stress is to download positive information into your brain daily. Read new books, listen to audible books, watch positive videos, listen to positive speeches. Try to receive as much positive words as you possibly can on a daily basis. If you really want to improve your ability to manage stress, then you need to strengthen that skill. Listening to new things and reading new things will help you learn to develop a stronger mindset.
All of these tips are effective if you implement them with consistency.