Life is full of highs and lows, and it is during these low times when life’s challenges can get to you. Whether you are worried about a non-performing colleague, the potential of losing your job, the piling up of unpaid bills, or the deteriorating health of a loved one, all of these are stressors and can negatively affect your health and wellness.
According to FamilyDoctor.org, “Stress can cause health problems or make health problems worse. Talk to your family doctor if you think some of your symptoms are caused by stress. It is important to make sure that your symptoms are not caused by other health problems.” The website goes on to list physical symptoms of stress, which include back pain, constipation or diarrhea, fatigue, headaches, high blood pressure, trouble sleeping or insomnia, shortness of breath, stiff neck or jaw, upset stomach, and weight gain or loss.
To determine how to deal with these types of situations, it is important for you to first be able to determine when you are feeling stressed. The most common signs are tension in your neck and shoulder area or clenching of the jaw and firsts.
Here are some tips on how to manage stress and to better face life’s challenges.
We all have 24 hours each day, a third of which should be spent sleeping. So how do you make the most of the 16 hours you have without over-stretching yourself?
Take a good look at how you spend your time. If necessary, keep a daily journal for about a week. Write down in detail how much time you spent on each task. This may seem tedious at first, but it will give you an overview of how you spend your time on a weekly basis.
You will be able to determine what activities are time vampires, figure out what tasks are absolutely important, and simplify. Avoid cramming your calendar full with activities. You still need to breathe.
Most of people’s stresses are work-related. So what do you do if you cannot just leave your current job to look for a less stressful one? Leave work at work. This is easier said than done. And this does not just mean your actual work. When you come home and worry about your project deadlines or your boss or colleague, you are just adding fuel to the fire that is stress. And that is not good.
Talk it out.
Generally, women are good at talking things out. But not everyone would want to talk about what is bothering them, especially if the problem is too personal. Depending on what is stressing you, you may want to talk to a close friend, family, or if necessary, a therapist. Sometimes, merely voicing out your problems and bouncing off your thoughts on someone else may help you de-stress.
Learn how to say no and ask for help.
People often want to help other people, even when their calendars are full and all they want to do is sleep for days. But regardless of who is asking, whether it is your department head, your childhood friend, or your grandparent, sometimes, you just have to say no.
If there is something that needs to be done but you cannot do it or just cannot do it on your own, ask for help. Whether you are working on a huge project for work or simply have too many errands to run, you need to know when to ask other people to help you. You may be surprised at how accommodating other people can be.
You have heard and read all about the benefits of regular physical activity, and alleviating stress is one of them. You are able to release pent-up tension, while your brain releases chemicals that make you feel good. If you are not fond of hitting the gym, participate in other activities, like sports or dancing. In the long term, regular physical activity will give you an increase in energy and improves your physical health, which in turn makes you feel good.
There are different types of stress triggers, but in the end, there are just some things you cannot control. What you can control is how you react to these situations. The most you can do is be prepared, especially when you know that you are getting into a stressful situation, such as a work-related meeting or driving during peak hours. There are stressors that can be avoided, so work around them instead of having to go through them.