We all have days when everything in life seems to be messed up. We feel anxious, lost and pressured due to various reasons, and things just set us off in an instant.
During these times, living can seem pointless and harder than it should. The worst part is, we sometimes feel like there’s nothing we can do about it. The truth is: you have a lot more control than you think!
Stress stems from being unable to cope up with pressure. So, whenever you think you’re under too much emotional pressure, one of the best ways to relieve the burden and regain control is through effective stress management.
It includes changing your lifestyle and learning how to take charge of your thoughts, emotions, and the way you deal with everyday problems. As you start to apply them, stress will eventually seem easier to handle.
Dealing with Stressful Situations: The Four A’s
Change the situation:
- Avoid the stressor.
- Alter the stressor
Change your reaction:
- Adapt to the stressor.
- Accept the stressor.
Stress Management #1: Avoid Unnecessary Stress
We have to admit, not all types of stress can be avoided. Escaping from any circumstance that needs to be addressed is not healthy.
So, the first step you have to do is avoid unnecessary stress. Keep the following in mind:
Avoid people and things that stress you out.
To accomplish this, learn to limit the time you spend with the people and in the situations that stress you out.
Learn to say “NO.”
Know your boundaries and learn how to can stick to them.
Take control of your environment.
How can you achieve this? Think about something that makes you tense.
Let’s say, you hate traffic. To lessen your stress, take the longer but less-travelled route so you can spare yourself from waiting in traffic.
Avoid argumentative topics.
If you think you’re sensitive and gets easily upset over a topic, cross all the subjects off your conversation list, i.e. political and religious issues.
Trim down your to-do list.
Just the thought of having tons of things to do in a day can already make you feel stressed.
What you can do is drop all unnecessary tasks. Instead, analyse your schedule between responsibilities and daily duties by pinpointing the “shoulds” and the “musts.”
Stress Management #2: Alter the Situation
Altering is one of the best tricks you can do if you can’t avoid a stressful topic. However, this may involve some changes in how you communicate and act in your day to day life.
Instead of keeping your feelings to yourself, voice them out.
For some, this may seem like a tough thing to do. But, having the courage to speak up will help boost your self-esteem, which is a great step to relieve the tension in your mind.
So, if something or someone is bothering you, try to be more assertive and express your thoughts and concerns openly but respectfully.
Be willing to compromise.
Only a person with enough courage can ask another to change their behaviour. But, if you really need that person to adjust, then be willing to do the same thing.
Learn to manage your time well.
Always remember that lack of proper time management can only cause you too much stress.
Stress Management #3: Adapt to the Stressor
The pressure and situations that stress you out are known as stressors. If you can’t change them, then learn how to improve yourself.
Adjusting your expectations and attitude towards a situation will allow you to adapt to it and regain your sense of control.
Maintaining a positive approach even when everything seems to go wrong isn’t an easy feat, but it will allow you to adapt to the stressor.
Start viewing an aggravating situation from a positive perspective to prevent it from causing too much stress.
Look at the bigger picture.
Think of a stressful situation. If you feel like it’s not worth stressing over, then it’s time to focus your time and energy elsewhere.
Adjust your standards.
Stop framing yourself up for failure by always aiming for perfection. Learn to be okay with “good enough.”
Allow yourself to take a moment to reflect on everything that you appreciate in life whenever you feel like your life is being eaten up by stress.
Include your positive qualities and gifts. After all, there’s something to be proud of about yourself.
Practising gratitude will help you keep things into perspective.
Stress Management #4: Accept the Things You Can’t Change
Accepting things as they are is one of the best ways to cope up with stress. Though it may not be easy, in the long run, it will be easier than railing against the situation you can’t alter.
Don’t try to control the uncontrollable.
Many things in life are far beyond our control. The behaviour of other people, for instance.
Instead of stressing over them, why not put your attention on the things that you can control just like the way you choose to react to problems?
Look for the upside.
When you’re dealing with difficult challenges, try to view them as opportunities for your personal growth.
Learn to forgive.
We live in an imperfect world; therefore, people make mistakes.
To free yourself from the negative energy, learn how to forgive and let go of your anger and resentments.
Share your feelings.
Sharing your feelings is no easy feat, but its purpose is to convey your true feelings.
You can to a friend that you trust or make an appointment with a therapist instead so they can help you to the best of their ability and try to understand what you’re going through.
When you take control of thoughts and feelings, it will help you feel calmer and have healthier life patterns.