Stress is something common. I don’t think that there is any individual who has never experienced stress in his/her life. The life we live in is not as smooth as we would want and sometimes it becomes very demanding. It reaches a point when you can’t handle all the situations you are experiencing and this is one of the major causes of stress. We all wish that there was a way to completely eliminate stress in our lives but in reality there is no way out. We have to accept that stress is part of our lives and the only thing we can do is to find ways to manage it. Being able to manage stress is the key to living a balanced life. If you are among the many individuals looking for ways to manage stress then rest assured that you are in the right place.
My name is John Baxton, I am a CEO of MyTradingTools and a consultant of stress management for traders, businessman, sales man and also soldiers. In this article, I will be sharing with you some of proven things you can do to manage stress and live a happy and healthy life.
Ways to Manage Stress
1. Understand the Cause of Stress
The first step to manage stress is to understand the causes of stress in your life. You can’t be able to manage stress if you don’t understand where it’s coming from. If you can identify the source, it will be very easy for you to manage stress. However, identifying the causes of stress in your life may not be as simple as you think. While it is simple to identify some causes of stress such as divorce, changing/losing jobs etc. identifying the causes of chronic stress may be very complicated. Most individuals will tend to overlook how their own feelings, behaviors and thoughts contribute to their everyday stress levels. For example, you could be stressed about work deadlines, but perhaps it’s your procrastination and not the actual work demands that are causing stress. When identifying your actual causes of stress, examine your behaviors, attitude and excuses. If you want your stress level to remain within your control, you will first need to accept that you contribute greatly to creating or maintaining it. Otherwise, your stress level will never be outside your control.
2. Connect to others
It is not advisable to stay all alone especially when you are stressed. Spending time on your own during such moments might heighten your stress levels. During these moments, you should look for friends who make you feel secure and understood. You should share all the issues you are having with your close friends and see how they will help. After all, a problem shared is halfway solved, right? If you know that then why stay silent with your stress? You should, however, keep in mind that the people you connect with (friends) don’t necessarily have to fix your issues. They should simply give you a listening ear. Don’t shy to tell them what you are facing or the stress you are having. Those who care will have a way to help and this will strength the bond between you. Always have a network of close friends who you can reach to whenever the stressors of life knock your door.
3. Listen to Music
Another thing you can do to manage your stress is listening to your favorite music. Listening to music will help you to take a break from whatever is stressing you. Music itself has positive effects on our brains and bodies. It can help to lower our blood pressure and also to reduce cortisol (cortisol is a hormone that is linked to stress). You should however not listen to music that will reference your cause of stress. Look for calm music that takes your mind away whenever you hear it.
4. Be a Good Manager of Your Time
Poor time management is one of the major causes of stress among most individuals. If you don’t manage your precious time properly, you will be stretched too thin and run behind. In such a situation, it will be very hard for you to stay calm or focus on anything. To manage your time properly:
- Avoid over-committing yourself
Make sure that you don’t schedule too many tasks to handle in a single day. We are all tempted to underestimate how long such tasks will take. You will have stress if you fail to meet your set goals.
- Prioritize tasks
You should always work with a list and ensure that you include the most important tasks at the top of your list. If you always handle the most important tasks first, you will have nothing to stress about even when you are running out of time.
- Break you projects
You should consider breaking the bigger projects into smaller ones since big projects might be overwhelming. Smaller projects will be more manageable and easier to tackle.
- Delegate duties
If you have huge projects stressing you, why not consider giving someone else a chance to help you? You don’t have to do everything on your own particularly when you don’t have enough time.
5. Sleep Better
If you have ever experienced stress in your life, you know how it affects your sleep. It is very hard to close your eyes even for few minutes when you have stress. What most individuals don’t understand is that lack of sleep is also a source of stress. This creates a vicious cycle which worsens with time. To avoid this, you should ensure that you get enough sleep as recommended by doctors (doctors recommend not less than 7-8 hours). If you are struggling to get enough sleep, make sure you dim the light, switch off the TV and stay away from anything that can cause distraction. You can get a sleeping mask to enhance your sleep.
As said above, stress can’t be completely eliminated but can be managed. Before you start finding ways to cope with your stress you need to understand what stresses you most in your life. Understanding this will help you come up with effective ways that will keep stress at a bay. Stop looking for external causes of stress and start reflecting on your lifestyle to seek for potential causes that can elevate your stress level. Once you do that and follow the above guideline you will soon be a stress free buddy.