Stress is good for our ambitions, responsibilities, and performance. But when our challenges become bigger than we can handle, they can cause stress to spike or turn against us. We start to feel out of control, under immense pressure and start to suffer in our health and lives.
5 effective silent ways to deal with stress
There are times when we need external help to deal with stress. Here are five ways of coping on your own.
Sometimes situations are outside our control but there are some measures you can put in place to protect you from dangerous stress levels even as you tackle more challenges.
Here are five things to practice on your own to prevent stress.
1. Identify the sources of stress in your life
Get to the bottom of what is causing your stress. This may not be as straightforward as it sounds. Stress can spike when we either fail to meet challenges or when challenges overwhelm us. A demanding job can cause stress, but so does procrastination. Your habits, attitudes, values, and personal growth, or lack thereof, can cause stress when they fail to align with what is happening in your life.
Even if an external challenge is causing you stress, take responsibility to fix the issue otherwise your stress levels will remain outside your control.
2. Get a stress journal
A stress journal can help you identify the source of stress in your daily life and help you understand how you deal with those sources. You can also use a stress tracker on your phone. With time, you will map out what you need to work on and how to make changes.
- How a stress journal may look.
- The cause of your stress.
- Your feelings and body sensations.
- Your reaction.
- How you made yourself feel better.
3. Use the 4 A's
Avoid unnecessary stress
Identify stress that you don't need to be putting yourself through. Learn your limits and know when to say 'no', steer clear of people who come with stress, and avoid stressful environments like social media or television if they make you anxious. Have a to-do list and let it guide you.
Alter the situation
Change the way you communicate and operate in your regular life.
Talk about your feelings rather than stewing in silent emotions.
Compromise to find a middle ground when others accept to make changes.
Have a balanced schedule to cater to all aspects of your life.
Adapt to the stressor
Reframe problems and stressful situations to cater to you in productive and positive ways. Get some perspective about the stressor and focus your energy where it is productive.
If you can't change the stressor, change yourself. You can adapt to stressful situations and regain your sense of control by changing your expectations and attitude.
Change your standards if they are not serving you well in your current situation. Set reasonable expectations and standards for yourself and others and learn to settle for good enough results.
Accept the things you can't change
You cannot avoid some stressors and the best approach is to accept them as best as you can to find peace. Leave uncontrollable things outside of your capacity. Look for the bright side of situations and opportunities in challenges.
4. Better personal time management
Poor time allocation can activate stress. If you are running on limited time, you will not be able to stay calm or focused and you will resort to unhealthy coping to keep yourself together and your commitments. Avoid careless commitments, have your priorities straight, share responsibilities, and break down tasks into manageable steps
5. Learn to relieve stress immediately
Stress usually shows when it has festered for a while from daily situations. Learn to get relief the moment a stressful event happens. Express yourself at the moment, write about it, or try soothing exercises to relax and refocus.
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