Stress is a short term physiological response that aids us in the face of danger – which is hardly a suitable state in which to live or even regularly spend time. Indeed, too much stress is known to make us vulnerable to ill-health. To eliminate harmful stress from our lives, we must learn how to put our anxieties in perspective and, above all, how to relax.
Work stresses tend most often to come from workload problems, from feeling insecure or ill-equipped, from work politics, or from the inadequate delegation. The first stage in laying such demons to rest is to step back and gain some perspective on the issues, in the context of life as a while, and then to start working on a practical solution to the problems – taking them one at a time. Short-term measures will get you out of a crisis, but they need to be followed by a longer-term review to address the underlying causes of your stress and to make lasting changes.
It is impossible to eliminate all stress from daily life but we can reduce its impacts. When stressed, many of us are attracted to various forms of escapism – notably alcohol and cigarettes, which of course bring serious problems of their own. A far more appropriate response is to draw upon relaxation techniques, including not only such practices as meditation but also various aspects of positive thinks that owe more to pragmatic common sense than to Eastern traditions. The best solution will differ from one individual to another, and will usually be found by personal experiment.
1. Set Yourself Realistic Target
Set yourself realistic targets, in both the short and the long term. Do not feel that you have to achieve all these targets to retain self-esteem. Congratulate yourself on your successes. Do not flagellate yourself for your failures.
2. Self-Reflection Session
Create within your schedule time for review and reflection – if possible, have review sessions away from the place where schedule pressures are most acute. Do not get bogged down in detail when what is needed is a fresh look at how things are done.
3. Make Health Priority
Make your health a priority. The body requires adequate sleep and nutrition to function effectively. Cultivate methods that encourage quality sleep: a hot bath, a milky drink – whatever you find works best for you. Never overlook the fact that psychical exercise, as well as family and social life, are vital for emotional and physical well-being.
Relaxation is essential. The conditioned fight-or-flight response can act as an obstacle to reducing stress because the idea of relaxation appears threatening. But you are not letting your guard down by opting to relax – in fact, relaxation is the key to remaining calm. Everyone has their own way to relax, so try different approaches that you can readily fit into your lifestyle. Breathing and stretching exercise, and meditation are worth considering.
5. Time Management
Monitor your use of time and ensure that you are getting the balance right between work and play. Do not neglect holidays or regular leisure commitments. Think of these, if it helps, as ways to refresh your energies for both work and domestic responsibilities. Do not fall into the trap of seeing yourself as indispensable, defending a position against all adds. Proper time management can get you out of the stress trap.
6. Acceptance and Control
When life is not going our way. We might find ourselves using up a great deal of energy in wishing that things were otherwise, perhaps spending energy directing blame towards other people or fate. But it is self-evident that we cannot change what is beyond our control, only what is within it. And what cannot be changed must be accepted. Living according to these facts requires mature, realistic thinking, as well as an accurate assessment of the factors in life that we can influence.
If we are stressed by the difficulty of selling a house, there is way throughout the labyrinth: we cannot conjure a buyer out of anywhere, nor make the kitchen or garden bigger; but we can be patient, and in the meantime enjoy the friendship of our neighbours while we still have it. Issues that only time can resolve must not be allowed to dominate our entire mental landscape.
Following this six-point plan will help you feel that you have taken charge of your life. It will assist in bolstering feelings of self-mastery and self-worth, and these in themselves will help to reduce stress.
“I used to be a workaholic. I never took any exercise. I even used to ignore headaches to get things done, and this left me with debilitation pain. Now, I’m more sensible. If I’m tired, I stop work. It’s just not worth damaging our health for.”
It is important to realize that spending time resetting priorities, as well as fulfilling leisure interest or even just sitting quietly watching the world go by, are activities that are far from being fruitless or self-indulgent: they are vital keys to our well-being. If you suffer from stress and take no steps to discover these keys, mental anxiety can translate into physical tension, and after a while, your health will begin to suffer.
Let us know how’s your life going on now and how do these tips help to make your life better in the comment below!