Oh, here it comes again- your greatest foe. How you dread its appearance in your life! It sashays itself into your office, oh so subtly but then refuses to leave. It even has the audacity to follow you home! It uses its manipulative little ways to insinuate itself into your thoughts and affect your reasoning. It even messes with your emotions. Help!
You want to run and hide from it. You want it to go away for good! But it won’t, it just won’t!
What is this awful entity that refuses to leave you in peace?
It is not going anywhere unless you find ways to effectively deal with it. Whether you are at work, at home, driving in your car, or on vacation, it can find you. Time to man up or woman up and win the stress versus your sanity battle!!
Avoid or Alter
One of the best ways to find relief from stress is to learn how best to manage it. Some types of stress can be avoided while others must be faced head on. It might surprise you to realise that there are some kinds of stress that you can get rid yourself of simply by acknowledging its presence in your life. Look for instances where you can avoid the source of stress and other instances where you can alter it to make it easier to cope with.
Stop Being a Yes Person!
Are you someone who always says yes to everything, whether it be extra work projects, baking cookies for the church bake sale, or walking your neighbor’s dog when she is away on business? If this describes you, you may be feeling the effects of too much stress simply from trying to do too many things at once!
Upon closer reflection you may discover that you are neglecting the most important elements in your life to do less significant things. This type of stress can be avoided by learning how to say no to responsibilities that you simply do not have the time, energy or interest to shoulder. Figure out what your limits are and don’t go overboard! Stop being a yes person!
Identify the Trigger Individual
Are there people in your life who make you feel stressed? Or is it maybe only one person who does this to you? If you know someone who brings you down or makes you feel anxious and tied up in knots, you need to do something to turn things around. Find the trigger person and take matters into your own hands. Try talking to the person about it. If this does not work, limit the time you spend with them. If all else fails (as it sometimes does), you may have to break off communication with the individual for the sake of your own sanity.
Should Versus Must
Figure out the difference between what is a “should” in your life and what is a “must.” This is tied in with learning to say no. Take a close look at the responsibilities you have and your daily or weekly schedule. Be really honest with yourself about what you are capable of doing and what you are not. Should and must are not the same thing.
Sounds so simple right? Change things. Sometimes avoiding a stressor is not something you can do so in that case you should look for appropriate ways to alter a situation. Take a careful look at the situation you are encountering and figure out how you can change it so it does not keep haunting your life and causing you more and more stress. Very often the key to altering a situation is to change the way in which you communicate.
Perhaps you have a co-worker whom you must be in constant contact with who says things that upset you. Instead of putting up with it or complaining to others about it, express how you feel to the person in a manner that is open and respectful. Do not be hostile in any way but be clear about how their words bother you. If you say nothing and it keeps happening, over time resentment will develop and your stress level will become worse and worse. Doing nothing will not help the circumstances at all. Change what you can.
Stress does not have to get the better of you if you don’t let it. Decide right here and now, today, to start recognising when stress is overwhelming you. Taking the steps required to win the stress versus sanity battle will ensure that stress is not always nipping at your heels and that your sanity stays where it is supposed to!
Image: Feeling Stressed