How to Deal With Stress
Take control of your life and take a moment to think about all you have been given and how blessed you are. Be thankful for everything you do have in control and dismiss everything you don't. Be thankful for even the simplest things such as having a roof over your head, having a bed to sleep on, having quality food, warmth, security, and mostly good health. This is something that many people in the world don't even have so think how lucky you are.
Be aware of your choices; you always have a choice. This is true for emotions as well as work. Sometimes you need to let your emotions out but still stay in control.
Say something positive to yourself as soon as you wake up every morning. This will keep your energy and mind going.
Start every day with a reflection, spiritual or otherwise.
Set goals for what you need to achieve that day, then write a "to do list". When writing your "to do list":
- Know your limits - Be realistic about what you can accomplish in a day.
- Prioritize your tasks and work to finish them starting with the highest priority (urgent/important).
- Do your most unpleasant or most difficult task at the beginning of the day when you are fresh, thereby avoiding the stress of last minute preparation. Procrastination feeds stress!
- Emphasize quality in your work, rather than sheer quantity.
- Schedule your day and your stress as this can reduce the number of stressors you must juggle at any one time. Stagger deadlines for large projects.
- Add some "breathing" space that will allow you time for "recharging" and creative thinking. You will also be better prepared when an unanticipated task arrives. Too much logical and systematic thinking creates stress - you need to give that part of the brain a rest and stimulate the other parts of the brain.
- Review your goals at the end of the day and think about everything you have achieved. This is cathartic and will help you sleep better. Check off the things that you accomplished on the "to do" list.
- Know your limits and do not push yourself too hard or beat yourself up when you do not achieve your goals. Tomorrow is another day, start writing tomorrows to-do-list before you lie down so that it is off your chest.
Be organized. Much stress arises from feeling overwhelmed. Being organized and getting your priorities straight can help you break responsibilities down into manageable pieces and focus on the things that really matter.
Identify the things that put you under stress. Make sure you understand why you become stressed so that you can try to avoid these circumstances.
Stop worrying about what you cannot change. This especially comes with things such as politics. Learning to accept things as they are is an important coping mechanism, but not as easy as it sounds.
Take responsibility for making your life what you want it to be. It is less stressful to make decisions and take action than to feel powerless and react to other's decisions. Decide what you want and go for it!
- Eat a healthy breakfast and healthy snacks only. Your choice of food is very important when dealing with stress; stay away from sugary snacks and have unsalted nuts and fruit available.
- Drink water it is the best beverage and stay off alcohol which always adds to stress one way or another. Caffeine is also known to raise stress levels, so again it is best to drink water.
- Get fit. Exercise a little every day. This releases endorphins that can lower stress levels, also eat chocolate it also releases endorphins, but only in a small to moderate dosage.
- Get enough sleep, and, if possible, get into regular sleeping habits.
Listen to music. Stress can inspire intense emotional reaction. Utilize it. Vent the spleen to a favourite piece of music and experience a happy release. Also, positive and relaxing music can be helpful.
- Listen to calm and soft music. It really gets you relaxed and happy. Try listening to music with no vocals and pick music with instruments like the flute, piano, etc.
- Use positive self-talk - One of the first things you can do in facing stressful situations is to reinforce your resolve through positive statements such as, "I can handle this, one step at a time," or "Since I've been successful with this before, there's no reason why I can't do it again".