Health & Wellness
July 10, 2019
Let’s face it… life sometimes or maybe even a lot of times hands us stressful situations. It is important for us to be able to see stress coming at us a mile away. If we can recognize it, we can prepare ourselves for it and deal with it appropriately. However, if we are blindsided by it like the crew of the Titanic was when that iceberg suddenly appeared… that’s when some major damage can be done. Of course there are some situations that will come out of the blue and you won’t be necessarily prepared for them but you should aim to at least be able to handle the situation a bit more calmly.
A single parent with two kids and two jobs and still not enough money knows what stress feels like. A married couple with a newborn infant who wont stop crying… night after night…after night knows what stress is. Working people, students and even young children and teenagers are very used to feeling the stress of deadlines approaching and maybe even passing by or being overwhelmed by seemingly impossible expectations and responsibilities. In an average day, a parent has to be a taxi driver, chef, accountant, social worker, delivery driver, stylist, mediator, housemaid, florist, gardener, mechanic, and that is all perhaps before getting to work themselves.
Have you ever just had a thought that seemed to make your heart skip a beat and maybe not in a happy, boy-meets-girl kind of way? A great deal of the stress that many individuals are dealing with is not even a direct result of current events. It’s important to remember that while we may not always be in control of the events in life, we have the power to control our own minds and to guard ourselves against thoughts that do not serve us in a positive way.
What does stress look like?
Maybe there is an increase or decrease in sleep or appetite. Perhaps your surroundings are becoming more and more disordered. You may feel nervous, irritated, overwhelmed or may develop a headache or stomach upset. For different people, stress will look and feel different. YOU must be able to recognize when YOUR stress levels are increasing in order to take corrective actions. When you recognize the stress, it is important to deal with it by identifying the cause(s) and doing everything you can to remove them, cope and/or adjust.
Tips to cope with stress:
Practice deep breathing exercises
Try prayer and meditation
Listen to music that soothes you
Take a break from your connected devices
Talk to a trustworthy confidant
Paint, color, sketch or draw
Enjoy a healthy diet
Planning and organization
Give one or more of these techniques a try when you recognize that your stress levels are increasing. Or perhaps you have different strategies that work! Whatever you choose, please be patient with yourself! We don’t want to let techniques that are designed to reduce stress, causing you more stress!
Know Your Stressors
We all have those things that irritate or stress us out more than others. Understanding what causes you to feel the most stressed out is absolutely necessary to take control of your life and your stress levels. You don’t need to worry about what anyone thinks about what you know stresses you out either. Therefore, don’t put yourself in situations that you know are going to stress you out just to please others. This doesn’t mean that you should never venture outside of your own comfort zone! However, it does mean that you get to remain in control of your stress levels as much as possible and work on your “stuff” in your own time in a more controlled manner. Discovering what stresses you out the most is all about being completely transparent and honest with yourself, so when you start feeling a bit off center, try asking yourself what is causing it. No matter the reason… whether it is petty or seemingly simple, own it and try one of the strategies to cope with it. Make sure you search within and make sure that you seek and find the root cause of your stress though.
Be In Control
The key to a life that is calm and minimally stressful is to be in control of it at all times. Planning and organization will help you to stay on top of the things that comprise your everyday–your diet, exercise routine, work-life-balance, school and social network. This includes your daily thought processes and energy. You must manage your own life wisely by making sure that your body and mind is getting the right nutrition, adequate exercise, and are not being damaged by poor habits. This is absolutely important when it comes to achieving a life that is calm and relatively stress-free. The bottom line is that stress can be physically detrimental for the long haul and we all need to be doing everything in our power to keep it at bay–everyday.