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Stress is a horrible emotion.
Nobody likes to be around anyone who’s stressed, and nobody likes to be stressed.
Yet we all experience it, all the time. And it’s like there’s no way of dealing with it because it just keeps turning up unexpectedly.
So firstly, let’s establish why we should learn to manage stress.
Now, I’m not talking about the dramatic signs, where someone throws their laptop and only sleeps for four hours a night, but the signs that you probably have just learnt to deal with. Like your mind never relaxing, worrying about time, trying to fit everything into your schedule.
These are all common examples that every business owner faces, and just accepts that that is the way it is.
Well, life doesn’t have to be like that. Obviously, every day won’t be like a bed of roses, but you shouldn’t just ignore that you’re overwhelmed and unhappy.
Stress is your body telling you that you’re in danger or in some kind of threat. When it isn’t controlled, it can damage your health, mood, productivity and even relationships. Who wants to be around someone who’s raising their voice all the time?
You can’t control everything in life. Bad things will happen and that doesn’t mean the world is against you—it’s just the way things work sometimes.
When you’re stuck in a traffic jam and you’re already late, your body sends out a stress response. You feel uncomfortable, your heart races, anxiety kicks in… all of these symptoms aren’t harming if they only appear every now and then.
But if you stay in stress mode when you finally arrive in the office, then it becomes harming to you and everyone around you.
See the bigger picture.
Sticking with the traffic jam example, try to think positive instead. I don’t mean get out of your car and start encouraging other drivers to sing along to lighten the mood, but learn to accept that you can’t control what is happening right now. Tell yourself that you’ll arrive late and there is nothing you can do. Working yourself up doesn’t help and makes things ten times worse. Learn to calm yourself by taking some deep breaths and think about the reality of the situation. People are dying right now and you’re running late… it’s not so bad when you look at the reality of the situation.
If you find you get stressed when something at work doesn’t go your way, or something happens that makes you question your efforts, stress here is a good and bad thing.
It isn’t always a negative thing to feel stressed. If I told you to ring up 40 clients by the end of the day, you wouldn’t just sit down and relax all day, you’d work as hard as you can to achieve it.
When you’re feeling the strain of work, you push yourself to get everything completed to a high standard and on time. This can be healthy because if every day was the same and nothing unexpected came along, we’d be bored and unmotivated. Sometimes we all need a little push!
Work on yourself as a person to manage how you deal with hectic times and demanding situations. You are not a slave to anyone and you don’t have to stay up until 3am to please someone else. Put yourself and your health first, or you’ll be paying the price.
Spend time with positive people.
People who seem to be carefree have a more enjoyable life because they don’t let their stresses take over their life.
There is no magical pill that will ever stop you feeling overwhelmed, but it’s how you react to the situation that determines your stress levels.
When people say to you “don’t get stressed”, it’s frustrating, because you don’t have the capability to switch off your emotions and choose how you feel. But the next time someone says that, think about how right they are. Isn’t the goal to not feel under pressure? If you allow yourself every time to make a situation negative, then you’ll grow accustomed to this feeling and never change. Reassess the severity of the problem, calm yourself down and take action instead.
Not for one moment would I suggest just shrugging off the problem, because this is how everything escalates, and I’m not saying to not care about anything either. You have to understand that when you’re in that moment, when your blood pressure is rising and you’re stuck in a world full of troubles, it’s not the way it should be.
Take steps to help the situation. If a client hasn’t turned up for a meeting, don’t sit in your car and panic – call them, ring their office… do something to resolve it. Promise yourself that next time you’ll come up with solutions rather than focus on the problem. There is always a way out!
Remember … you’re in control!
• No matter how we structure and create our lives, things will go wrong … often at times when we don’t think we’re strong enough to deal with it.
• Accept the change. Accept that even if you’ve given your all and worked as hard as you can, there’s nothing more you can do.
• Become aware of your stress. There are so many people in the world who can’t go one day without feeling stressed, and they’ve just accepted that that is the person they are and things will never change. But the moment you notice that you’re sleeping less, working more, lashing out when things don’t go as planned, look at your attitude and recognise that it isn’t healthy.
• Get to know yourself and examine yourself and take the steps mentioned above. A month or a year from now, most of what you’re going through right now won’t even matter.
• It’s important to realise that there is no quick fix to living a stress-free life, but not everything will go accordingly.
• Keep practising and don’t give up. You deserve to be happy and healthy, and one day in the near future you’ll get to a point that no matter what life throws at you, you can handle it.
• Don’t try to become someone different overnight. It just won’t happen. Look at your life and see how it is heading and how, if you change your perspective on everything, life is a beautiful blessing.
• Find your personal ways of dealing with things. Is it to reward yourself at the end? Make jokes to keep yourself sane? Whatever helps you to manage your stress but still aim to resolve the problem is worth trying.
So the next time life throws something at you, try these new tricks to overcome it.