Chances are that you are working a job, trying to make ends meet and at the same time working hard on getting your internet business moving so that you can leave the daily grind. Regardless of the situation or factors many people today are stressed out. Stressed at the bills piling up, stressed at getting stuff done around the house, stressed because they are stressed!
What else causes stress? Depending on the type of person you are, anything can stress you out:
- Major events in your life like getting married, changing jobs, moving your home, getting divorced, or coping with the death of a loved one,
- Long-term worries such as concern about your children’s future, financial or economic problems, or an ongoing illness,
- Daily hassles like traffic jams, rude people, or machines that just don’t work when you want them to.
Stress can lead to some nasty things – loosing your hair (seriously), stomach problems, weight loss plus a whole host of other health related issues. Stress could even lead to anxiety attacks. Have you ever had an anxiety attack? They are bad. I’ve been told it is like having a heart attack.
As your body goes through stress a few things happen – your body has a response to this:
- First your body releases adrenelin – this is caused by good and bad stress (think the night before your wedding, starting a new job).
- Normally your body will use up this energy, but sometimes it may not. When it doesn’t use the energy up that’s when you find yourself pressured or even tired. Stress may even make you feel more anxiety, you may experience memory loss and may catch colds and flu more often since you’re really pushing yourself.
- If you don’t resolve your stress issues, this is when the bad things start to happen to you — serious issues like heart problems, or even ulcers.
In short – STRESS is bad for you, especially if you don’t get it under control and don’t deal with it.
But there are ways you can stay ahead of the game and try and reduce the stress in your life. It is surprisingly easy. Granted you may not be able to take care of all the issues around you that cause the stress — but if you are able to better manage the stress then you will keep your mind at ease thereby allowing you to find solutions to problems that you may be facing.
As one stressed-out person to another, I know how it feels, and believe me there are many variants when it comes to stress. They say that stress is all in the mind, well, what’s bugging you anyway?
There are several ways to manage stress, and eventually remove it out of your life.
- Acknowledge stress is good
Make stress your friend! Based on the body’s natural “fight or flight” response, that burst of energy will enhance your performance at the right moment. I’ve yet to see a top sportsman totally relaxed before a big competition. Use stress wisely to push yourself that little bit harder when it counts most.
The right kind of stress is good. I’ve been told that stress is a left-over from the caveman days. Can you imagine a hungry animal staring at you in the face and you only armed with a spear? You’ll be damn stressed! But this stress helped that caveman fight his way to ensure he lived to see another day. Stress can work the same way for you.
Think the night before your wedding, or the first day at a new job. That’s good stress.
- Avoid stress sneezers – stressed people are contagious
Stressed people sneeze stress germs indiscriminately and before you know it, you are infected too! I’m kidding of course. You can’t catch stress, but you could catch their cold or flu!
Protect yourself by recognizing stress in others and limiting your contact with them. Or if you’ve got the inclination, play stress doctor and teach them how to better manage themselves. You see stressed people also are negative or can become negative. You want to stay away from negative people.
- Learn from the best
When people around are losing their head, who keeps calm? What are they doing differently? What is their attitude?
Figure it out from afar or sit them down for a chat. Learn from the best stress managers and copy what they do.
ATTITUDE plays a big part when dealing with stress. That’s why some people are so damn cool when everything else around them is melting. But they don’t let it get to them. I’m like that. Sometimes.
- Practice socially acceptable heavy breathing
This is something I’ve learned from a gym instructor: You can trick your body into relaxing by using heavy breathing.
Breathe in slowly for a count of 7 then breathe out for a count of 11. Repeat the 7-11 breathing until your heart rate slows down, your sweaty palms dry off and things start to feel more normal.
Just DON’T head down to your local 7-Eleven for junk food! Junk food is not a good stress buster.
But I find that this does work. It really helps me calm down and relax.
- Give stressy thoughts the red light
Do you do this: “If this happens, then that might happen and then this is what else will happen…” Most of these things never happen, so why waste all that energy worrying needlessly?
WOW. If you’re at this point, you’re REALLY STRESSED OUT! While it’s good to look at what could happen – recognize that it could and leave it at that. Has it happened? No. If you have control over the outcome, drive the outcome to what you want.
Surely you’ve heard the saying “don’t sweat the small stuff?”, right?
Give stress thought-trains the red light and stop them in their tracks. Okay so it might go wrong – how likely is that, and what can you do to prevent it?
- Know your trigger points and hot spots
Presentations, interviews, meetings, giving difficult feedback, tight deadlines… My heart rate is cranking up just writing these down!
Working as a Director of Customer Service I face difficult situations everyday. From having to tell people that others around them do not appreciate them hacking and snorting, to telling people that body odour in a professional office setting is not acceptable. I dare YOU to tell someone that. Not easy! Or how about firing someone? Trust me, you don’t want my job.
Make your own list of stress trigger points or hot spots. Be specific. Is it only presentations to a certain audience that get you worked up? Maybe work on practicing for a presentation so that when it comes down to giving it – you are not as stressed about it. There is some truth in the saying “Practice Makes Perfect.”.
Knowing what causes you stress is powerful information, as you can take action to make it less stressful. Do you need to learn some new skills? Do you need extra resources? Do you need to switch to decaf?
- Burn the candle at one end
Lack of sleep, poor diet and no exercise wreaks havoc on our body and mind. Kind of obvious, but worth mentioning as it’s often ignored as a stress management technique. Listen to your mom and don’t burn the candle at both ends! It will get you!
So YES – having stress can be a total drag (in more ways than one – especially as it wreaks havoc on your body and mind), but that should not hinder you to find the inner peace of mind that you want.
If you’ve tried everything and nothing has worked – you could always go to the Bahamas and bask under the summer sun.
Joking aside, stress is serious and if you’re under a lot of it, in addition to trying mediation, and other calming techniques you should see a doctor only because some of the effects of stress on the body are nasty.