Are you stressed out? Stress is one of the main factors that can negatively affect our mental and physical health. While there are medical treatments to help you deal with the effects of stress, such as sleeping tablets or anti-anxiety medications, these do not usually deal with the real cause of the problem.
Here are ten tips to help you deal with the stress in your life.
1. Discover Your Weak Point.
Learning to recognize your weak point will tell you when you are under too much stress. Some early warning signs include: headaches, tiredness, insomnia, indigestion, diarrhea, irritability, poor memory, crying frequently, or heart palpitations. Consult your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms – if there is no other medical explanation, you may be under too much pressure.
2. Get Rid of Unnecessary Stress.
A good way to find causes of unnecessary stress is through this exercise:
Make a list of all the things you plan to do this week. Put them into two columns – things you plan to do for OTHERS and things you plan to do for YOU. Which list is longer? Then circle your priorities on the list. What can you eliminate from what is left?
3. Show Your Emotions.
Many people are afraid to express sadness or anger because they believe it makes them appear vulnerable. However, holding in your emotions will only cause you more long-term stress. Cry when you feel sad, even if it’s just for a romantic movie. Laugh when you’re happy. Even smiling can do wonders to improve your outlook.
4. Organize Your Life
Perhaps you feel constantly stressed out because you’re not sure of what will happen next, or you worry about forgetting things. Try using a day planner. You can write things down and know that they will be there to remind you to plan ahead. At the beginning of each week, you can look at the week ahead and prepare.
5. Value Yourself.
Do you worry about what others think of you? Do you think you need to go out of your way to be appreciated? You are probably more valued than you think. Try making a list of all the skills you have and all the things you are good at. Or you could make a list of positive adjectives to describe yourself. It will also help to spend some time with friends and loved ones – they are the people who value the most and can help you realize how wonderful you truly are.
6. Don’t Be Bored.
Do you have any hobbies? Is there something that you have always wanted to do but haven’t given a try? Discovering a new hobby can be a way to relieve the stress in your life. You may even consider volunteering with non-profit organization – making a difference in others’ lives can be incredibly fulfilling.
7. Learn to Relax.
A great thing to do after a stressful day at work is to simply relax. Sit or lay down in a comfy place and close your eyes. Imagine you are someplace peaceful, such as a grassy meadow or a beach. Try to feel yourself there –think of the sun on your face and the sounds of nature around you. You may even try relaxing one part of your body at a time, starting with your feet and gradually moving to the top of your head. Just 15 minutes of total relaxation will benefit your mind and body.
8. Stop Worrying.
If you feel stressed out because you worry frequently, you could try letting them out. Write them down as a list or in a journal. This may help you think about WHY you worry about these things and what you can possibly do to stop worrying.
9. Go on Vacation.
Some people go years without taking a vacation. If that’s you, then now is the perfect time to get away. Even a 4-day weekend can do wonders to take your mind away from the stress around you. You’ll come back refreshed and revitalized.
10. Do Nothing.
Seriously. Many people, especially Americans, feel stressed because they are constantly on the go. There is nothing wrong with “doing nothing” every once in a while. It’s a great way to clear your mind of all that stress.
About the Author
Patricia Duggan has a Masters in Psychology and has been practicing for 11 years. She maintains the site Psychology Degree Guide. She writes about various subjects within the psychology field.
Have you ever found yourself unfocused, distracted…essentially spinning your wheels at work?
Even if you are passionate about your chosen career path, are there days during which you accomplish next to nothing?
You know the kind I mean–you start the day with high expectations and a solid plan to accomplish your goals, but come day’s end, you’ve got very little to show for your efforts. And worse, you feel like you’ve been working hard all day.
Many of us experience these days (or weeks.) Here’s the thing: even if you absolutely love what you do for a living, you may find yourself feeling overwhelmed or stressed at work.
And, especially if you’re passionate about your work, you may not even realize it’s happening until you’re deep in the throes of the apathy and “brain fog” that comes along with workplace stress.
Left unchecked, workplace stress can have significant effects on your health, both mental and physical. And, when you don’t feel good, your perception on life can become corroded with that negative energy–effectively drawing more negativity into your life.
Is workplace stress a problem for you? Ask yourself the following questions:
Are you consistently anxious, irritable or depressed?
Have you experienced a loss of interest in your work?
Are you having problems with sleeping? Fatigue?
Do you have trouble concentrating?
Do you have physical symptoms like muscle tension, headaches or stomach problems?
Do you find yourself withdrawing socially from friends and family?
Have you experienced a lower sex drive than usual?
Are you using alcohol or drugs to cope?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, it’s time to make some proactive changes to promote positivity in your workplace and in your life. Doing so can reduce stress levels and ultimately eliminate many of these issues.
So what can you do?
Take Care of Your Body
An imbalanced diet can significantly contribute to “burn out.” And, ironically, in an effort to make their lives easier, busy people tend to make the unhealthiest choices. Many “convenience” foods are laden with fat, sodium and sugar, the effects of which will only make you feel more stressed.
Eat healthy, whole foods as often as possible. Reduce or eliminate intake of alcohol and nicotine. Get at least a half hour of exercise, most days of the week, and get enough sleep. It won’t kill you to pull an all-nighter on occasion, but in general, keep to a regular sleep schedule.
Take Care of Your Soul
When you love your work, it’s easy to over-commit and over-schedule yourself. This can lead to feeling overwhelmed, and eventually to apathy and loss of interest. Be sure to schedule down-time, especially if you’re a perfectionist who can’t stop until the job’s done. Sometimes, you just have to step back and regenerate. Otherwise, you may end up getting nothing done.
Sometimes, taking a couple of hours to do a little deep cleaning at your house can help you to release your stress.
If you’ve got an office or cubicle at work, clean that too (or have it cleaned.) Many people believe that the condition of your home represents the condition of your mind. So, if it’s dusty and cluttered, you might be feeling a little blocked yourself.
Do yourself a favor and spend a little time cleaning up around the house, and you may just find that your focus snaps back into place. You’d be surprised at how therapeutic a little cleaning can be.
Priorities and Planning
Sometimes, feeling overwhelmed is just the result of not having a plan. Especially when we love our work, many of us take on too many projects and before we know it–we’re spinning our wheels, getting nothing done.
The best way to create a daily plan is to have a basic daily routine, but one that’s flexible enough to allow you to focus on the most pressing issues of the day.
So, for example, let’s say you’re a customer service rep who lives in a cubicle 40 hours a week. You arrive at work to find three voice mails–one from an angry client, one from someone who needs information (a potential client) and one from your boss inviting you to lunch to discuss what you suspect is a promotion. And, on top of that, you’ve got two co-workers waiting to ask you questions about their own customers.
When you develop a basic schedule, you can prioritize these types of things in advance–so, in the case of our customer service rep, she might have a morning routine like this:
1. Deal with any co-workers waiting for me.
2. Return phone calls in order of urgency.
3. Check email.
4. Start taking calls from customers.
The point is that whatever your job, simply putting an outline of your day together can help you to reduce your stress levels at work by helping you to prioritize your tasks. Of course, there will be times when an urgent situation throws all of it out the window–and this is where you need to allow for flexibility.
Change Your Mind
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again–it’s all in your head. Life is what you make it.
So, if you’re feeling stressed at work, change your mind–change your perception of the situation. Instead of feeling angry and frustrated that you have to deal with so much, feel grateful that you have a job (and that you love what you do–if that’s the case.)
It’s easy to forget why we chose our career paths when we feel overwhelmed by our day-to-day lives.
Don’t hate your job. Love it, even if it’s not ideal.
Be grateful for it, and do it to the best of your ability. If the job you’re currently in isn’t right for you, start imagining yourself in one that is.
Feel what it feels like, and then focus on having it. Always focus on the positives and the things for which you are grateful–and you’ll attract more of it into your life.
Spend time hating your job and wishing away your time–and you can be sure to expect more things to hate in your life. Remember that like attracts like–so feel positive and happy and more good things and situations will be attracted into your life.
What do you think? Have you experienced workplace stress? How did you handle it? Share your experiences in the comments section below. And don’t forget to update your Bliss Book!