Managing stress can be complicated. But you recognize the need to stay positive under all circumstances. This may be easier said than done, but it’s worth a try. Here are 10 tips to help you manage your stress.
The first step is to distinguish between the different forms of stress. You need to ask yourself what your stress is related to. Is it due to:
- an unexpected event?
- your working environment?
- the fear of not being able to handle a future situation?
- or is it a continuous stress that you find hard to define? This is called chronic stress.
Depending on your situation, you will be able to evaluate the appropriate solutions.
1. Find the source of your stress
Now that you know what event or context your stress is related to, you’ll need to find the source of the problem. For example, if your stress is work-related, what specific situations cause you stress? The goal is to find the trigger so that you can then fight the symptoms. The more detail you dig into to find the source of your stress, the better chance you have of solving the problem early enough.
2. Practice reducing stress hormones
Stress is manifested by an increase in the secretion of certain hormones called stress hormones such as cortisol. They send a signal to the brain that is then spread to the rest of the body of the person under stress. So, when you become aware that you are experiencing a stressful situation, you can do a few exercises to help you reduce the secretion of these hormones. You can do the following:
- Practice breathing exercises. Take a minute to breathe in and out deeply, with your eyes closed to visualize something that makes you feel calm. One of the benefits of doing this is that it helps control your heart rate.
- Practice meditation exercises. And you don’t have to wait until you’re in a stressful situation to do it. It allows you to refocus on the present moment and also helps you learn to let go of negative thoughts naturally.
- Practice relaxation exercises such as yoga to loosen the knots that stress may have created in your body, among others.
The trick is to find at least one exercise that you can do easily and quickly enough to get through a stressful situation using your own resources first.
3. Seek for advice from those around you and/or from a professional
In such situations, there may be a tendency to avoid the problem by keeping it to oneself. It is precisely the opposite that needs to be done. When stress persists, don’t hesitate to talk about it with someone you trust and who has good advice. This will already help you take the drama out of the situation by having a reassuring outside point of view. And, if that’s not enough and you think you’re in a situation of chronic stress, then consult a specialist who will be able to give you the keys adapted to your personal situation.
4. Don’t let the situation get worse
This advice applies to any kind of stressful situation. You have to do what you can to keep the situation from getting worse. Your health is non-negotiable. So you have to want the situation to get better by looking for solutions. And you are not alone. We all live in situations that sometimes create stress for us. It can be a good thing in some circumstances to give us the adrenaline we need to overcome an obstacle or fear. This is why I advise you to watch for symptoms in order to treat them as quickly as possible.
5. Take time for yourself
Also, since there is no quick fix, it is important that you learn to take time for yourself. Sometimes your body reminds you to take a break by secreting stress-related hormones. If you don’t have the opportunity to take a vacation right away, consider a relaxing evening at the movies or restaurant. You can also take a weekend city break. See your friends and family and spend time with them as well.
6. Let go when you can’t control
When faced with certain situations, you may have a tendency to cling to the problem rather than letting go. There are matters that we don’t understand and that we sometimes have no control over as individuals. So when that happens to you, let the storm pass and accept the fact that you can’t control it. It’s normal not to have a solution for everything. You also need to have the perspective you need to make the right decisions. So be kind to yourself and keep doing the best you can.
7. Create a haven of peace
I find it effective to have a kind of bubble of well-being where you can take refuge in case of stress, be it real or imaginary. To find it, think of a particular time when you felt good. It can also be a person with a comforting face and expressions, an activity that makes you forget what’s going on around you. It can be a public place or a corner of your home that you have set up for this purpose. If you don’t yet have that bubble to find yourself in, it’s time to think about it and learn how to cultivate your inner peace.
8. Focus on the positive
It’s good to focus on the positive even in the most unpleasant moments. It’s never all black and white. There must be something you can be grateful for. Your health, your work, your environment…are all elements that allow you to say “OK, all is not rosy but I am still happy and grateful to have this element in my life”.
9. Maybe it’s time for a change
On the other hand, if the situation has been going on for a while and you feel suffocated then maybe it’s time for a change. You can’t expect to have different results while continuing to act the same. So if your stress is a manifestation of a deeper ill-being, eliminate what is harmful and replace it with positive things. This change may or may not be radical. You can make small incremental changes.
Start by taking an interest in your personal development. Ask yourself if the life you are living right now is aligned with your personal values and aspirations. If not, what are the daily habits that you can already change with little effort? I am convinced that you need to question yourself at important moments in your life. It is also a good sign, it shows that you evolve and learn from life.
10. Always listen to yourself
We can’t permanently eradicate stress from our lives. It can resurface when we are more on our guard or too caught up in our daily worries. There is nothing alarming about that. However, you should always listen to your inner voice and your body when they tell you to “stop”. Trust your instincts and remember that no one knows you better than you do. What I’m sure of is that you have survived all the stressful situations you’ve experienced: bravo! That’s a great result so don’t take your mind off it unnecessarily. We only have one life and it is far too beautiful to miss the small and big joys it offers us.
So there is no need to worry. I send you my good vibes and will write to you soon. 🙂