In this present age of constant commotion and uproar, it is highly unlikely that you have never experienced stress or went through a phase where all you could think about was just getting through the day!
We have gotten so busy worrying about stressing too much that the internet quacks are having a field day giving out stress-relieving tips and ways to handle anxiety!
In all the racket our daily on-goings cause these days, it is impossible to disembark upon its journey without worrying about at least something. Either that or you start living so precariously that you barely breathe in your surroundings or enjoy the state of living, which in itself is a huge downfall.
Now having stated the unlikelihood of surviving without experiencing some form of stress, it is precarious to understand the difference between good stress and bad stress! You must be wondering how on earth stress could ever be good! Let me explain:
Simply put into words, stress is the feeling of losing control of a given situation that leads to feeling ruffled around the edges. But before you go off the bat claiming how a feeling that dreadful could ever be good for anyone, let me ask you, how hard it is to gain back control of a situation that is still within your grasp?
Stress can help motivate a person to do more, to work harder, and to put in more effort in lesser time. It enhances performance in ways sitting on the desk, calmly sipping on a cup of coffee never can. It makes you more alert, helps you find quicker solutions, and shows that you care about the circumstances. Stressful times make you appreciate all the times you were relaxed.
It is only when the stressful feeling of losing control actually renders you incapable of performing tasks effectively that you need to think about ways to deal with it. And to help you with that, we are listing down 7 effective and no-nonsense tips to help relieve stress:
1: Target the Stressors
To deal with any kind of situation, it is important to first identify the root of it. How can you possibly solve a math equation without disclosing all the components first? Only after figuring out the components can you think of the analytics involved!
Take a look at the situation you’re dealing with and ask yourself, “What is it about this particular situation that is stressing me out”? Identify the stressors carefully. Make a journal entry with a list of all the things that make you worry and then think of ways you can avoid them or simplify them.
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2: Pro-action Instead of Reaction
The biggest cause of stress and anxiety is getting defensive, passive and into a fighting stance when faced with a conflicting situation. The negative feelings feed off of your worrisome behavior!
The easiest way of dealing with that is to modify your thought process into actively looking for solutions in face of conflicts rather than jumping down the rabbit hole of complaining and making excuses. Focus on “what can I do to solve this issue”, rather than “why do I have to be the one to always fix things”.
Additionally, be very certain and clear about what is required of you. Ask questions, even the stupid ones if you have to, but do not take on a task where you’re not sure what you need to do!
3: How You Respond Matters
At the simplest surge of the anxiety level rising, most of us resort to what I like to call, “Avoidant Tactics”. These are non-healthy ways we respond to stressful situations in a disguise of calming ourselves down.
For most people, it is things like coffee, cigarettes, or energy drinks, for others, it is stimulants and compulsive behaviors like checking social media sites. People convince themselves that doing this will help take off the edge but it rarely does!
Instead of relying on these unhealthy avoidant tactics, find a healthy alternative.
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4: Find a Breather
You can find blogs upon blogs and like a million articles telling you of multiple stress-relieving tips based off just adopting an organic lifestyle, or gym-ing more actively, or meditating regularly, the list goes on!
Don’t fall for the trap! While most of these are healthy lifestyle choices, not everything is tailored for everyone. Find your niche, your breather!
Try out multiple options. It could be something obvious like exercise, meditation, yoga, and breathing techniques, or something less generic like rearranging shelves, sketching, writing or maybe dancing. The point is to find a healthy activity that takes your mind off the worries at hand and helps you relax.
5: Uphold Boundaries
In a world that is connected everywhere with everything, the boundaries between our personal and professional spaces have blurred to the point of non-existence. That is where the stress leaks into our personal lives and taints our homes with the worries we’re trying to leave behind!
Establish boundaries with your work colleagues and organization, and let them know in clear terms that you value your job a lot but you value your personal life too. Stand firm on the hours you’ve set for your work and don’t let them over-rule the time you have allotted for your family and self.
6: Manage Your Time & Spaces
You might not realize the impact your surroundings are having on your mental health but it might be enough to cause serious damage. Manage your workspace so that it oozes comfort and is a treat to sore eyes.
The cluttered work-top or an uncomfortable chair may not seem much in hindsight but it might be making you more reactive to the stress around you.
Additionally, manage your time. Do not over-commit or oversell yourself. Count in unforeseen circumstances when planning ahead. You might be able to perform a task in 1 hour but you don’t know all the things that can happen in that span that might hinder your progress. Avoid that stress by giving yourself extra time!
7: Know When You Need Help
While it might seem like the weight of the world is on your shoulders and the whole universe will fall apart if you don’t get your job done by yourself, let me remind you, that is definitely not the case my friend!
All the stress-relieving tips can fail but what is bound to be there for you is a trusted network of your family and friends. Build a good support system that you can rely on and don’t feel embarrassed to ask for their help.
If there isn’t anyone that you can talk to, know that there are people that specialize in helping people cope with their mental well-being without any stigma attached. Reach out to a psychologist or a counselor and let them help you deal with your stress!
There is a very thoughtful and wise quote I found on the internet the other day. I’d like to conclude my list of ways to cope with stress with that:
“One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was from a horse master. He told me to go slow to go fast. I think that applies to everything in life. We live as though there aren’t enough hours in a day but if we do each thing calmly and carefully we will get it done quicker and with much less stress”. – Viggo Mortensen
Ghanwa Rehman is a social causes and issues enthusiast with huge dreams of changing the world one write-up at a time. She has earned a Masters in Clinical Psychology from University of Karachi.