It’s unlikely that you need to be told that you should try and keep your stress levels under control. No one wants to be patronized, so we’ll proceed on the basis you understand that. And besides, it’s not likely anyone actively chooses stress!
You have probably heard all the usual recommendations. Make time for yourself. Don’t take on too much at once. Meditate, if you can figure out how and clear your mind once in awhile. See a doctor if it’s particularly severe.
It is possible to do all of the above – and still struggle with stress. With a fast-paced world and more demands on your time than ever before, it’s perhaps even inevitable. Sure, we all know we should meditate, but… have you ever tried it? “Sit still and think of nothing” sounds like it should be the easiest task in the world, yet somehow, it manages to be problematic.
So let’s try this again. Think outside the box and all of those other fun buzz words – there’s got to be a solution somewhere, right?
Learn Your Triggers
Stress tends to come in patterns, but we all have different things that set us off. Some of us might find the idea of a work meeting stressful, while others breeze right through it without a ruffled remark.
For a week, write down any time that you feel stressed. Don’t speculate as to why: just the time, date and severity will do. Then go back with a clear mind and look for any triggers around it. When you’ve got the things that trigger you, work on finding ways to make those less impactful.
As for the bigger events in life that are by nature stressful – moving, planning a wedding, having a child – preparation is key. Do your research with pregnancy; use residential moving services for the shift to a new home; plan and budget your wedding. Feeling a little more in control and getting outside help can make all the difference.
Write down any decisions you make and how they will help. For example, “hired movers = will save time and worrying about things being packed securely.” If you feel stress creeping, a quick peek at the list can reassure you you’re on the right track.
Do Something Different
So meditating doesn’t agree with you, but another pastime might. If you feel you work up a lot of energy with stress, try a physical activity to release it. Boxing is perfect, even if it is just thrashing away at a punching bag hanging in the garage.
Many people have also found much solace in adult coloring, which is now a bona fide trend. Organizing has also been credited with leading to a reduction in stress levels, so save up organizing tasks for when you need them. Sometimes the distraction alone is enough; generally, taking your mind off the issue is the key.
Stop Stressing About Being Stressed
You can get trapped in this loop all too easily, so give yourself a break. So you’re stressed – it’s not that big deal. Expecting yourself to meet certain expectations is going to make things worse, so learn to shrug it off a little more often for the peace and quiet.