It is so, so important that you learn and master stress to be successful in all areas of your life!
What is stress:
Prior to writing this article, “Your Guide to Mastering Stress,” I was looking for a definition of “stress” that I could share. I hope this helps:
“Stress is defined as an organism’s total response to environmental demands or pressures. ”
One thing that I think is left out in this definition is that for the most part is that stress is a by-product of our conscious and unconscious “perceptions.” If we perceive something, at any level, it can be deemed as a threat. This can cause various levels of stress in us.
An interesting thing is that two people can experience the same situation, where one person would find it stressful and another person might even enjoy the situation. Everything is about perspective.
For example, 2 people sailing in heavy seas. A novice sailor could feel incredible stress and fear. They may experience faster breathing, muscle tension, anxiety, feelings of overwhelm, etc. At the same time, someone else with considerable sailing experience might be having the time of their life and feeling sensations of joy etc.
The Purpose Of This Post
In this post, I am going to talk about the nature of stress and then provide some strategies that you can use to lower stress in your life, including my own easy and powerful strategy. Stress can get in the way of our personal success. If you can understand and manage your stress, you can have a more successful life.
The World Hasn’t Changed the Way our Forefathers Likely Thought
I’m sure in the past, our forefathers likely envisioned that as the world evolved so would the quality of our lives. Life would be easier, safer and more enjoyable. I’m sure they believed that life in general in the future that our quality of life would be a lot easier and a lot less stressful.
Unfortunately, for various reasons, it hasn’t quite worked out that way, as I’m sure you already know.
For the vast majority of us, life is likely just stressful, or even more so than it was thousands of years ago.
The difference is that what causes us stress has changed. In the past, it might’ve been about simply survival more is now it might be driving too fast on the highway.
In reality, what’s really happened over the last thousand years is that stress is always been there it’s just been because the stress is changed. The problem is not out there!
Most people lack effective strategies for mastering stress
The problem is that for the most part, we haven’t learned much about stress. Most people go through life, giving stress and their reaction to it little thought. It sure is not a skill (managing stress) that we learn in school.
We don’t know a lot more about our own brains and how they work than we did thousands of years ago. In fact, we’ve likely learned more in the last 20 years than in all of humanity’s history. If you want to have a better life, its important that you change this. Stress is merely a process, one that you can manage – instead of it managing you.
Most People Lack an Understanding of How the Mind Work’s
Most people don’t realize the real cause of stress is inside of all of us. Our minds take in sensory experience and interpret it. Our interpretations are based on our history, what’s passed on was genetically in our current belief systems.
Our brains interpret our environment and have it register something as the threat it causes us stress. Virtually none of us have effective strategies for meeting the stress had on. So much of it is the result of our beliefs about our environment-but I’ll leave that for another post.
The bottom line is that stress can take a significant toll on you. Stress can significantly affect your health, your physical and emotional well-being, your longevity, your relationships in just about every aspect of your life.
To overcome stress, in simple terms, you need some strategies. As I mentioned above the problem is that usually, most people try to learn about stress after they are really stressed. 🙂
Were you ever taught ways to deal with stress?
But when it comes down to it, I think that it is how we work or even relax, for that matter that triggers stress. Ever been stressed even when you’re well relaxed and bored? I know I have.
In the meantime, until you learn to properly run your brain some level of stress is unavoidable in life. As such, it is important to find ways to decrease and prevent stressful incidents and decrease your negative reactions to stress.
To help you with this, here are some strategies you can adopt to lower your levels of day-to-day stress.
Understand how you deal with stress
It is important that you identify your coping strategies. One way to do this is by recording the stressful event, your reaction, and how you cope in a stress journal. With this information, you can work to change unhealthy coping strategies into healthy ones-those that help you focus on the positive and what you can change or control in your life.
Your Guide to Mastering Stress : Strategies
The most important acquirement needed to change how you deal with stress is “Awareness.” It is so important in you dramatically improve your level of self-awareness. One of the reasons that you’re overstressed is you have been ignoring the signs that your mind and body have been giving to you.
You have to start becoming aware of when you’re stressed out.
As you become more aware you start to more consciously notice the many obvious signs, such as: accelerated breathing, accelerated heart rate, sweating, irritation, defensiveness, being reactionary etc.
A good thing to bring into awareness is your thinking or more importantly the direction of your thinking or focus. As soon as you notice your thinking goes really negative but usually a pretty good indicator that something has been triggered. A lot of times when a person is triggered and stressed out the thinking in essence goes the proverbial gutter. . Simply stated your thoughts will have a much larger negative spin or focus.
It is very important that you start becoming more aware and that you especially become aware of when you’re thinking goes really negative!
At the same time become much more, aware of what your body does when you’re thinking in terms negative.
One place where people get stressed out a lot is feeling like they don’t have enough time Or that they got too many things to do within a 24-hour timeframe. One thing that can lower this quickly is adopting efficient time management skills. This one simple skill can allow more time with your family and friends and possibly increase your performance and productivity. This can greatly help you to reduce your levels of stress
Ways to Improve Your Time Management Skills
To begin, you need to know where you’re at. For one week, keep a detailed record of how you spend your time. This needs to include all aspects of your 24 hours a day, from the moment you wake up to the time you go back to sleep. It needs to include work and leisure time, including side times, ie, playing a video game when you are supposed to working, or the time you spend watching tv.
At the end of the week, review your findings. It is likely you will be able to identify a number of areas where bascially you are wasting potentially productive time on tasks that do not matter.
· Prioritize your time by rating tasks by importance and urgency. Redirect your time to those activities that are important and meaningful to you.
· Manage your commitments by not over- or under committing. Don’t commit to what is not important to you.
· Deal with procrastination by using a day planner, breaking large projects into smaller ones, and setting short-term deadlines.
· Examine your beliefs to reduce conflict between what you believe and what your life is like.
Build healthy coping strategies
Some behaviours and lifestyle choices affect your stress level. They may not cause stress directly, but they can interfere with the ways your body seeks relief from stress. Try to:
Learn to balance your personal, work, and family needs and obligations so that they do not cause you stress. I
Ttalk to people in your life and express your time constraints I got my phone and ring but my watch with the folks with that I I I I
Some things that can really help you: ·
- Have a sense of purpose in life.
- Get enough sleep, since your body recovers from the stresses of the day while you are sleeping.
- · Eat a balanced diet for a nutritional defense against stress.
- · Get moderate exercise throughout the week.
- · Limit your consumption of alcohol.
- · Don’t smoke.
Make Sure You Have Social Support
Having good “Social support” such as family and friends can greatly improve how you is a major factor in how we experience and master stress. Social support is the positive and beneficial support you receive from your family, friends, and the community at large.
Simply start by being aware that you are cared for, loved, esteemed, and valued. More and more research indicates a strong relationship between social support and better mental and physical health.
I think of some of the stressful times in my life and there have been a number of them as I learned many of the skills. The biggest thing that made a difference was knowing that I had people I could reach out to and that they would at the very minimum listen. So many times this completely changed my emotional state and point of view
Challenge and Change Your Thinking
When any outside stimulus initiates a stress response and negative thoughts can have devastating effects especially when it goes unchallenged. A by-product of your thoughts is that you may experience a wide range of emotional responses. These can include things like depression, anger, heightened sense of fear, anxiety, revenge, guilt, insecurity, worthlessness and powerlessness.
All of these emotions can trigger the body’s stress response process even at the stress trigger is not true. A very effective strategy is to challenge your negative thoughts and how you see things can help reduce stress. This can start from a simple question: “is my perception even true.”
My Very Effective Strategy for Managing Stress
Over the years I have adopted a strategy that I have found to be extremely effective and overcoming and managing stress. It’s very simple and just takes a little bit of repetition to make it a part of you.
- As soon as you notice your stress level building and your thinking has turned negative, simply stop, and take 5 deep breaths
- Next, stop your negative thinking and simply use one of the two follosing statements: a) a) “Cancel, Cancel.” Or b) “Cancel, Clear” — If you have to, repeat this phrase a couple of times
- Focus on your goals, What is It I want to create. If any negative thoughts surface: Use Steps 1 & 2
- Keep doing this simple process and very quickly you will be able to stop your stress instantly