Sometimes, it probably seems as if there is absolutely nothing that can be done about the high level of stress that is experienced in modern life. After all, there are always errands to do. Bills tend to constantly pile up. In addition, there are family and work responsibilities to attend to. Granted, one actually has more control in the stressful situation than one might imagine. Realizing that one has control can be a life saver and can also serve to give one the confidence to implement one’s own personal stress management plan.
Reduce Stress by Taking Control and Identifying Sources of Stress
In order to reduce stress, take control of emotions, the home environment, the work environment, the daily schedule, and even the thoughts that come to mind. Although it may seem impossible, keep the faith and believe that control can be established. Keep in mind that the goal should be to attain a more healthy and balanced life where it is possible to face challenges more effectively, do high-quality work, and enjoy more opportunities to relax and have fun.
Identify specific sources of the stress that exists at home, in the workplace, or in other areas of life. Be specific and identify what the stressors are, when they tend to happen, how they happen, and how long the problem lasts. Also, consider the methods that are currently being used to cope with the stress. Do not be afraid to talk with a professional counselor or therapist about the stress. It is possible that they may have insight into your stress experiences that can be very helpful to the process of stress reduction.
Avoid Bad Habits That Will Not Reduce Stress
There are certain habits that can be developed in the process of attempting to cope with stress. Granted, these habits are not healthy. For instance, excessive drinking of liquor, undereating, overeating, excessively watching television, excessive computer use, withdrawing from family or friends, and smoking are all examples of unhealthy activities that individuals sometimes do in the attempt to cope with stress.
Additional examples of unhealthy coping strategies include substance abuse, excessive sleeping, refusal to acknowledge the stress, lashing out at others, or procrastinating. These are habits which do not contribute to one’s physical and emotional health. In order to overcome these habits, one must decide to change one’s life circumstances and change one’s self, know more.
Reduce Stress by Changing One’s Circumstances and Changing One’s Self
Make changes in life circumstances by avoiding unnecessary stress. Granted, there are situations in life that one absolutely cannot avoid and which must be dealt with; however, there are many situations that one can avoid. It is important to note what things “should” be done and what things “must” be done. This can reduce the likelihood of being stressed out. If there is peer pressure to participate in the situation, just say no to the situation and the pressure. Avoid persons who cause feelings of stress. If watching television or being in certain environments results in stress, then turn off the television and do not go to places that cause stress.
Make changes in life circumstances by altering unavoidable situations. Do things to change situations so that the environment is more pleasant and less stressful. This might involve altering some aspect of the physical environment or it could involve altering the emotional environment. This could involve openly expressing one’s feelings about the situation. It might involve managing one’s time differently. Compromise might also be a good strategy, although in some cases compromise could backfire and make the stress worse. Nonetheless, if compromise is possible, it can be helpful. It could be useful to have discussions with a therapist or others to get their input as to what could be done to make the situation less stressful.
If it can be safely done without loss of life or loss of sanity, make changes in the self by attempting to adapt to the stressor. Try to see things from a larger life perspective, reframe the problems in the situation and try to have a sense of optimism that things will eventually get better. Also, accept that there are going to be things that cannot be changed. Avoid burnout and depression. One should do the best one can do and then accept that perhaps the stressful situation cannot be changed by one person’s efforts alone.
Make sure to maintain good habits. For instance, consume nutritious food and drink sufficient water daily. Go for long walks, call a trusted friend, write in a journal, enjoy a good cup of tea, read a good book, or perhaps go to watch a comedy movie. Finally, forgive others and let go of anger. Although it is difficult, letting go of anger can be important because, after all, being angry does increase stress and does contribute to the presence of health problems. Let go of negative energy. Forgive others not necessarily solely because it helps others but also because it can reduce stress and improve your own health.