Stress is and always will be a part of our lives. In todays hectic, got to have it now world, we have more stress than past generations. While most experts agree that a little a stress is good, too much stress is bad for us. Prolonged stress hampers the body’s ability to heal and to protect itself. Some statistics show that up to 90% of disease is caused or made worse by stress. Stress is not just a psychological response though; it is also a physical response. Stress can lead to insomnia, depression and insomnia to name a few diseases. Stress can also cause relationships to deteriorate and cause us to fall to victim to our addictions.
So now, the question is how to effectively deal with stress. We can’t prevent stress, as life is full of outside factors that can exert pressure and stress on us. Since we can’t control that, we must learn to better control our responses and our attitude about towards them. The stress comes not from the outside factors, but how we deal with them.
That being said, what is an effective way to deal with those stressors that we will encounter through our life?
Let’s look at five things we can do to help us handle stress.
- Identify what makes you stressful. Making a list of your stressful experiences is useful. Immediately deal with the issues that you can change, for instance waking up earlier for work in the morning, not leaving things till the last minute, and delegating tasks in case you are taking responsibility for everything. Forget about the issues that you cannot influence like being stuck in a traffic jam or not getting into the elevator because there is no room for you.
- Calm down. Meditation is great for helping to calm down. A short session of meditation will do wonders for relaxing and relieving stress.
- It will pass. There is a season for everything. Everything is temporary. Remind yourself that this too shall pass.
- Know yourself. Understand what triggers your stress. Interview yourself. Ask what triggers your stress? Is it your job? Feeling powerless because you can’t say no? After you have your answers, develop strategies to deal with your answers.
- Learn to use your relaxation response. I know you must be thinking that you can’t relax because you are so stressed. I understand that feeling, but we have a relaxation response just as we have a stress response. We just have to learn a new way of responding. Mindful meditation is an excellent way to illicit the relaxation response. The more you practice it, the more relaxed you will be and the less events of life create stress for you. When you incorporate this into your everyday life, you become calmer and better able to handle the stressors. Practice makes perfect and the more you practice relax your mind, the easier it gets.
As I already stated, the true cause of stress isn’t the problems or challenges we all face daily, it is our attitude towards them. We can only control our responses, so we need to work on that. These five tips will allow you better handle stress. As with everything in our lives, it is our choices that define us and our lives. You can either continue to handle stressful events the same or we can change our reactions. It’s our choice. It really is that simple.
Let me know what you think by leaving a comment.