Experiencing stress is a normal thing (only in small doses) because it gives motivations in order to deal with the different challenges that come. When you have trouble coping with stress, your body gets affected both psychologically and physically. Having high levels of stress can eventually lead to depression, anxiety, cardiovascular disorders, and even cancer.
When people experience stress, it seems that they are unable to gain control of their lives. Gaining control is one thing that a person must remember in coping with stress. Achieving control is not a short-term goal, it requires much discipline and determination and so, two steps should be first finished in order to manage one’s stress effectively.
Everything begins with identifying the sources of stress. This part is not that easy because usually your stressors do not appear to be that obvious. In knowing what the sources of your stress are, look into your habits, excuses and behavior. Accepting your identified sources of stress makes it easier for you to manage the pressure that you experience.
Second, after identifying your own sources of stress, look at how you currently cope with them. Think of how you currently face your stresses in life and classify whether the strategies that you do makes you healthy or unproductive. Some strategies in coping with stress are unhealthy. They just temporarily reduce the stress that you feel, but may eventually worsen in the end. Some of these unhealthy strategies are smoking, procrastinating, overeating or under eating, withdrawing from others and taking out your stress on others.
After identifying your own sources of stress and looking at your current strategies in coping, other steps will guide you in managing your stress successfully.
#1: Avoid unnecessary stress
Make a to-do list. It helps you prioritize the things that you need to accomplish immediately. As you prioritize your tasks, the things that should be done are at the top of the list while the unnecessary ones are located at the bottom of the list. Prioritizing the tasks that you need to do will help you eliminate pointless tasks and finish on time.
#2: Alter the situation
The manyana habit or procrastinating wastes time. Instead of postponing something essential just to do something that has no importance, manage your time properly and stick to it. Managing your time wisely by making your own schedule will help you finish your task on time and lessen the burden if ever you will have other things to do in the future.
#3: Adapt to the stressor.
If you are already stressed and about to give up, think positively. This can help you regain your confidence and continue with whatever task you have. Look at the big picture. If you are worried of a low grade in a quiz, yes, think about it, but not too long. Will your feeling of disappointment solve anything? If not, then there can still be other ways to cope up.
#4: Accept things you cannot change.
This is where regret comes in. Yes, you may feel the regret if ever you have disappointed yourself or someone, but do not get yourself stuck in the past. Instead of focusing on why you did not have a good grade on an exam for an instance, try to put your focus on achieving a higher grade for the next exam. Focus on things that you can still control.
You can also express your feelings. Talk to a friend. Even if you cannot change the situation, having someone to listen to you can somehow lighten the burden that you feel.
#5: Make time for fun and relaxation
In short, relax! Stress will always be part of every person’s life. All you have to do is handle it in a way that you will not be feeling so burdened as if you are carrying the whole world on your back. Give some “me” time, interact with others and always keep your sense of humor. Remember, laughter is the best medicine. Laughing fights stress in many ways.
#6: Adopt a healthy lifestyle.
What else does it mean? Of course, take care of yourself especially your body. Eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep and avoiding vices such as alcohol will help you increase your resistance to stress.
These strategies are just some of the many things for you not to avoid, but to handle your stress in an effective way. Stress will always be there, but remember, it is only you who is in control of your life and not the events or the people that are around you.