Did you know that stress is linked to poor health in 150,000 people in 142 countries? That's a lot of people being affected by a silent killer. It causes heart disease, depression, sleep problems, rashes, anger and anxiety. It destroys your will power and motivation. It sneaks up on you. After a while you don't notice your shoulder tension, increased headaches and mood swings. You think you're normal but stress is slowly eating away at your health, happiness and wellbeing.
Just as different situations stress people differently the stress solving strategies are different as well. I am going to give you a few general tips to get you started on reducing and avoiding stress. Can I suggest if one doesn't work you try another and keep persevering? Your health, relationships and career are worth your continuous efforts to reduce your stress levels.
Keep a stress diary
It's good to start tackling stress by keeping a stress diary to discover what people, places and things are causing you angst. Is it time management or relationships? When do you feel out of control? Do you regularly feel inadequate to the tasks at hand? Once you have identified the problem areas then the solutions are easier to discover.
Use time management techniques
If you find that you are constantly anxious about being on time, you can research time management techniques to give yourself breathing space. Addressing your hidden beliefs and attitudes is an important part of resolving time management issues as well.
Put a stop to perfectionism
People who practice perfectionism often manage time and tasks poorly because they don't set realistic limits. Perfectionism is self-abuse. Adjust your standards and make realistic, achievable goals. Let's face it your human, not a robot and some days are going to be better than others.
Avoid stressful situations
If you feel pressured by certain situations avoid them where you can. Avoid people, places and things that stress you. We're all obligated to spend time at some events but make it a quick sprint not a marathon event.
Exercise and meditate
Speaking of marathons, exercising is one of the two most effective ways to relieve stress. Meditation is the other. Even a quick walk around the block and a guided visualisation before you go to sleep at night is better than nothing. Meditation gives you a broader perspective on life. It can help you to let go of control of the situations you can't change and focus on the things you can change.
Work on the solution not the problem
Deliberately working on a solution is more productive than focusing on the problem. Procrastination on a problem increases anxiety. Taking action towards your final outcome reduces anxiety. Even if you proceed by just making a plan of action you will feel more empowered and in control.
If you need help, get support. No man or woman is meant to be a self sustaining island; we all need each other at times. Even expressing your doubts and concerns with another person can relieve stress. A problem shared is a problem halved and others may have insights that haven't occurred to you.
Don't pee over the present
If you have one foot in the past and one in the future you pee all over the present. The past only exists as a memory in your mind and is only an interpretation of what happened filtered through your beliefs and values. Anxiety is simply caused by thinking about the future. Seek therapy to deal with past events and anxiety that is affecting your life today. Drop your emotional baggage so you can move forward more easily and with less stress.
Your health, relationships and career are worth the effort of you working on reducing stress. Changing your habits to have a more peaceful life will provide long term benefits to health and wellbeing that you couldn't possibly regret. Your worth it so work towards it.