Stress is part of everyone’s life; it is almost inevitable!
Let’s face it; life is getting faster and faster every day; we expect too much from ourselves and others. We tend to take on too much responsibility and make ourselves overwhelmed in the process. We juggle too much in a single day and get disappointed if all of the to-do lists don’t get checked off.
A little stress or a “normal” dose of daily stress can be good for you! It pushes you to take action and be more productive. However, be aware! There is a very fine line between a normal level of stress and being overly stressed to the point that you become unproductive and overwhelmed.
Undealt stress or chronic stress can take a toll on your mind and body.
So, if you are continually feeling one of the symptoms below, you might be suffering from Chronic Stress Syndrome:
- Low energy or chronic fatigue
- Loss of concentration /memory problem
- Weight gain
- Digestive problems
- Heart palpitation/high blood pressure
- Low sexual desire/impotence
- Weaken immune system
- Muscle pain and tension
Don’t panic! You are not alone, …70% of Americans experience physical or mental symptoms of stress.
The good news is there is hope.
You may feel there is nothing you can do to stop the roller coaster of daily stress, but you have more control over stress than you realize. Stress management is all about “BALANCE’, lifestyle modification, and taking charge of your thoughts and emotions.
With the right tools and support, you can take steps to relieve the pressures of daily stress and regain control over your life and health.
Here are some steps to support you overcome stress:
1- Make a to-do list and prioritize it
Do one thing at a time, when you are done with task number one, cross it, and move on to task number two. There is a rewarding and motivating feeling about completing a task and crossing it off your list.
Don’t make your list too long; be realistic. If you are done with all the items on your list, then you can add more!
2- Learn to say NO!
We all try to be superheroes; we take on too much and hesitate to say no. Remember, next time you say yes, is it really necessary? Are you saying yes to please the other person? Are you saying yes because people expect you to drop everything and attend to their needs?
Set clear boundaries with yourself and with others; saying no to non-urgent requests frees up your time and energy so you can pay attention to what matters most in your professional life as well as your private life.
Exercise is one of the best and easiest ways to reduce stress. “When you exercise, your body releases endorphins, which are hormones that fight stress, even a brisk 20-30 minutes’ walk can do wonders to calm your mind, not to mention the benefits it has on your body.
How often do you catch yourself in stressful situations short of breath or hear your heart beating so fast you feel it’s going to jump out of your chest? When we are stressed, we tend to hold our breath or do fast and shallow breathing, and we often forget to exhale. Belly breathing is one of the quickest and most effective ways to reduce stress. Belly breathing is an easy technique that can be learned with few practices. (click here to learn the belly breathing technique).
I cannot emphasize the importance of de-cluttering enough. Clutter distracts you, weighs you down, and invites chaos into your life. Whether it’s your workplace or your home, make sure that your surroundings are well organized and mess-free. The visual clutter is as much destructive as a cluttered mind. REDUCE & SIMPLIFY. Surround yourself with visually inspiring paintings and objects. Make your “life” space as soothing as possible.
6- Life happens
No matter how much we plan, organize, and set boundaries, unexpected circumstances arise that throw us completely off course. Roll with it; accept what is. Instead of thinking about all the things that can go wrong and the “whys,” focus on finding solutions. Become a “solution-focused thinker” Say to yourself what can I do at this moment to solve this problem? Who can help me with this situation? Where can I get help? No matter how difficult you find the situation, there is always a way out. Look for answers, don’t focus on the negative.
7- Manage your thoughts
Thoughts have power, our predominant thoughts influence our behaviors and attitudes; they control our actions and reactions. Feed your mind positive, empowering thoughts that motivate and inspire you to take action towards your goals. The longer you hold on to a negative thought, the more power you give it.
Finally, Living in BALANCE IS THE KEY TO A HAPPIER, LESS STRESSFUL LIFE. A well-balanced life is essential for personal growth, peace of mind, and one’s Wellbeing.