5 ways to Keep Up With Life’s Daily Stressors
by Krisca Te
Modern life is stressful – in some countries more than others and in ways that differ completely but are stressful just the same. The daily stressors of a woman in Somalia are the next bite of food and the safety of her children, while the stressors of a woman in the New York City may be that she has gained a few extra pounds and can’t seem to shake them off. That is the irony of today’s world.
We all deal with stress in our lives: family, work, money, health. At times the stress is so great that it impacts the physical well-being of a person. It leads to heart attacks, strokes and nervous breakdowns to name a few. Not everything is under our control, but there are ways you can keep up with life’s daily stressors, whatever they may be, and make them a little bit more bearable.
1. Identify the Cause of Stress in Your Life
The true source of stress is not always apparent, and it may need a bit of digging in to find what is behind it.
For example, you may feel stressed because of deadlines at work. Is that the true reason for your stress? Is it work overload or do you tend to procrastinate until the last minute to do your work? Do you blame your stress on other people and external circumstances? Do you call it temporary or a normal part of your job?
It might be that you don’t take responsibility and don’t see the real reason. That is the first step in keeping up with daily stressors. Identify them. Write them down if you wish.
There are two things you can change: either change the situation that causes the stress or change your reaction to it.
2. How Do You Currently Deal with Stress?
Are your coping mechanisms healthy or unhealthy? (Like smoking, popping pills, sleeping too much). Those unhealthy methods might help you at the moment but they are dangerous in the long run. If you are doing those things, find other ways to cope with stress.
Learn how to say no for example. Set your limits at work or at home. Taking more responsibility is a sure way to feel more stressed. Ask for help to share the responsibilities with.
You can’t control the uncontrollable, but you can say to yourself, when bad thoughts come to mind, ‘I will not go there now’.
3. Some Stresses Are Unavoidable But Some People And Situations Are
Even well-wishing friends can cause stress by criticizing your actions all the time. End that relationship, even if it is beneficial to you in other aspects, or limit the time you spend with that person.
Friends are supposed to be on your side and helpful. If they are critical all the time – it’s their problem, not yours.
Recognize situations that cause stress and try to avoid them, like the late news, just before you go to bed.
4. Focus on the Positive
There must be some good things in your life. A loving family, money in the bank, a loyal dog… Train yourself to look at the half full glass, not at the half empty.
Sure there are things you still have not achieved, but you’ve come a long way, baby. Try to let go of grudges. They are ruining your life as well.
5. Learn to Relax and Take Time for Yourself
Find whatever works for you to get the pressure down. It might be yoga, it might be meditation or it might be a jog in the park.
One of the most important things for living with a manageable stress level is to be able to take a time-out. Even a short one. A time out where you can ‘clear your mind’ from all the stresses of the day.
With modern technology and the speed in which things are done these days, the stress level of most of us goes up. There are so many things to do, so many things to read, so many things to accomplish.
Mothers work away from home just to maintain a middle class standard of living. Many enjoy their work, keeping their minds sharp and the blood flowing, but trying to have it all comes with a cost.
No wonder then, in order to keep up with life’s daily stressors, such a huge percentage of the American adults are popping anti-depressants and anti-anxiety drugs.
But if you can put these 5 tips into practice, you can reduce your stress and live a happier life.
(Krisca Te works with Open Colleges, Australia’s leading courses of TAFE courses equivalent and counselling courses. When not working, you can find her actively participating in local dog show events – in support of her husband.)