As much as we try to avoid it, stress is an increasingly regular part of our lives. It can leave us feeling physically, mentally and emotionally drained. We may not be able to escape it entirely, but we can learn how to manage it better.
Highly stressful situations are prevalent in life. I battle daily with managing stress. Sometimes you need to reduce your workload to get some relief, but sometimes you can use your stress as leverage to accomplish amazing things. Many stressful situations happen in our personal lives and our work. In the workplace, there are days you want to quit or an employee quits then leave you holding the bag. Deals can fall through, customers can leave you, and you may not know how you will replace them and make ends meet. Then there can be stress in your personal life that can be so overwhelming that you can’t function.
Many of these problems can be solved. You have to manage your stress, so it doesn’t control you. You can conquer your stress and leverage it to turn stress into success by using a few of these tips to overcome your stress.
KEEP YOUR COOL
Very few things in life are an actual emergency. When you get stressed, it is easy for your blood to start to boil or you may lose your temper. In our minds, we tend to make things into a bigger deal than they actually are. You have to manage your expectations. If something doesn’t work out the way you expect you shouldn’t let that derail you. Keep calm. You can be more successful if you stay calm under pressure.
LOOK FOR THE OPPORTUNITY
We tend to focus on our problems when we are stressed or worried about a problem. When you start to get overwhelmed, you can train yourself to stop focusing on what is wrong and think about ways you are grateful. When I search for the positive, I often find new opportunities even in a crisis. It can be hard to see at first, but it works. By shifting your mindset, you can find win-win situations that can be better than you had initially expected. In this way, high-stress situations can become a gift when you change your mindset because you have forced yourself to a place where you wouldn’t have gone without going through the stressful situation.
APPRECIATE WHAT YOU HAVE
This is a big one because when we compare ourselves to others, we do so from a place of weakness. As Theodore Rosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Things can sometimes fall apart, and it is outside your control. When things seem like they are really bad, you can manage your stress by shifting your focus to being grateful for what you have. We are so fortunate and blessed. It’s easy to get in the habit of focusing on the negative. The problem with this is that where your mind goes your energy flows. If you want things to improve you have to focus on what you want, not what you don’t want. If you think about how blessed you are instead of how stressed you are you will start to feel better instantly.
BREATHE THROUGH THE PAIN
If you can embrace the strain of stress, it can be good for you. In my yoga class, the instructor often says the work begins when you want to quit. When I start to feel discomfort, I focus on my breathing to regain strength and focus. I bring many of the teachings of yoga off the mat and into my life. In stressful situations when I get upset if I take the time to breathe I can think clearly. When things get tough and stressful if you quit you will never accomplish anything. When you go through a stressful time, you become more resilient. Remember when you are under stress that it will pass. Use the stress to challenge yourself.
DETERMINE WHAT TRULY MATTERS
You need to set limits with your clients. It is easy to get sucked in with your clients’ problems and allow it to stress you out too. Stress sucks up all of your mental energy. Detaching allows you to take the emotion out of the situation and you can problem solve more effectively. Remember that everything in life is not an emergency. In high-stress situations, you may need to step back and evaluate whether this is something that is worth getting so upset over. Ask yourself, “Will this matter to me in a year from now?”
Using some of these strategies can help you overcome your stress. Remember it’s ok to push yourself, but you have to know your limits so you can go to sleep at night knowing you did your best.
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