“99% of people admit to feeling stressed out at some point every day.”, states the Stress Management Society. Money worries are the leading cause, with children, workload and relationship issues closely following. “One in four people surveyed said that they feel stressed for up to 30 minutes of everyday”.
So what can you do about stress when it seems so inevitable?
The answer is to take a step back and really think about why you feel stressed. Modern times are filled with stressful situations, deadlines at work, difficulties with family members and friends, health and financial issues. Stress is a normal response to any of these worries and many other anxiety and stress-provoking situations which is why everyone experiences stress on a regular basis.
The key to managing this stress is to identify the sources of stress in your life. You’ll need to really think about your thoughts and emotions and the way you are currently dealing with problems. Then you can start to take some control back.
So push away any habits, attitude, and excuses that stop you tackling the stress in your life:
- Don’t explain away stress as temporary when you can’t remember the last time you took a breather
- Don’t define stress as an integral part of your work or home life or as a part of your personality.
- Don’t blame your stress on other people or outside events, or view it as entirely normal and unexceptional.
See helpguide for more information on this
Instead start to work out how stress is created in your life. To do that you need to keep a diary of the following:
- What was the situation that made you stressed?
- How did the situation make you feel, emotionally and physically (e.g. sick to your stomach, tense in you jaw)?
- How did you react?
- Did your reaction to the situation contribute to your stress?
- What could you have done differently to improve your reaction?
- How would that have improved the situation?
Try this easy stress diary template by helpguide
While you are completing the diary, really think about your emotions and the actions you take in stressful situations. You need to be aware of your emotions in order to be in control of them and react more positively to challenges. When you are in control of your emotions, you can think clearly and creatively, manage stress and challenges, communicate well with others and display trust, empathy, and confidence. If you are always losing control of your emotions, you’re in danger of becoming confused, isolated, and negative.
So until my next blog entry on “How to take steps to control your stress”, start your stress diary and really have a think about the stressful situations in your life. It’s a great step to take as you can start to really understand why you get stressed which means you can start to feel more in control of it and reduce it’s negative impact on you.