We all, at some point in our life, have experienced stress in some form or the other, and if we remember well it’s not pretty going through stressful situations. In this article we’ll identify what stress is, what are some common stressors, and, most importantly, how to manage and avoid stressful situations. It’s going to require complete dedication to changing the way you see things and the way you do things in order for you to see positive results. It may also require you to cut some things and some people off.
Both positive and negative things and events can result in stress, and let’s face it, stress stinks!
Here we’ll focus on the negative, aka “bad” stress.
Stress is anything that poses a threat or challenge to your well- being and usually manifests itself by undermining your physical, emotional, or psychological health. Stress may be triggered by a single stressor, e.g., a life changing event, such as loss of job or divorce, or may be the cumulative effect of several stressors prevailing all at once or over a period of time.
COMMON RECURRING STRESSORS
Children alone would have your stress-o-meter popping off the numbers, more so if you happen to have high maintenance children. However attentive, committed, positive parenting can also produce stress and anxiety as you clamor everyday to do the best you can for your child.
Natural, common unavoidable stressors are those that come through things which make up normal life. They are often recurrent or cyclical. Although we can get rid of some of these stressors, like, we can change jobs, for example, the stress can come back with a new job. Therefore, with unavoidable stress sources what we need to master is the art of balancing our life so that the stresses from these necessary factors of life are kept at minimum or at bay. For example, jobs that are just jobs (you’re in it for the money or just to have a job; or its the dream job your parent had for you) are going to keep you stressed because you are not happy with your vocation; you’re not doing what you love; you’re not doing work on purpose or in purpose. Do what you love and never work a day in your life. Right away you realize that unless you align yourself with the right job you can forget about having a stress free job and ultimately a stress-free life!
Similarly with relationships, while it’s desirous to be in romantic relationships and marriage this is high on the list for lending to a great deal of stress in your personal life.
And with added stress from the other common stress sources, relationship stress tends to escalate easier.
The other factor to consider (this might actually be you) is that some people are gifted for creating their own crises and what is unfortunate they may be unaware that they are literally the source of their stress and distress. These are people who self-inflict and self-destruct.
Your self induced stressor is anything you yourself are responsible solely for creating or allowing to happen. It’s usually avoidable and takes the form of you creating a mountain to prove to yourself that you can climb over it. This process is perpetual and you keep having those mountains to climb over and those challenges to conquer. Then you throw yourself a pity party and play the victim role hoping for someone to come and rescue you. Stop it! It’s not good for your health, let alone when you stress and are stressed everyone else around you is negatively affected.
Most of the times they are unnecessary situations and instead of making you grow as an individual they make you mean and bitter. You only have yourself to blame.
The bottom line is, stress can make you sick physically and mentally and can cause you to develop life threatening diseases and conditions.
COMMON SIGNS OF STRESS
Aches and pains, headaches, high blood pressure, sleeplessness, restlessness, constant anger, irritability, too much or too little appetite, withdrawal from social life, depression, loss of enthusiasm for matters of daily life, e.g., work, are all common signs of stress.
So what do you do if you keep finding yourself stressed? You fight back. You give stress a good ass whopping and tell it to never come back!
FIGHTING BACK STRESS/COPING
Broadly speaking the way to manage stress is to kick it out and change the way you view stressful situations.
Perhaps your greatest ammunition for fighting stress is your views on the stressful situation. Use positive affirmations and words such as CAN, WILL, MUST. “It can happen.” “It will be good.” “It must work.”
When you take a positive outlook on things not going your way it gives you courage to better deal with whatever poses a challenge or threat to your well-being. A positive approach composes you and keeps you balanced to make more informed decisions or even just help you relax through the tough times, as opposed to becoming anxious and thereby aggravating your circumstances.
Instead of seeing life as a constant struggle see it as a continuous experience designed to bring you wisdom so that you may live a richer fuller life.
Be more grateful for what you have. The world doesn’t owe you anything. Neither will you ever have it all. Give away things you don’t need. Share what you have. There is spiritual release in helping others.
It is pointless to wait for the situation to get better or for all your stress to go away. Life will never be stress free. You have to make it a habit to enjoy life even when things are not going so good. Occupying yourself with pleasant activities, e.g., sports, will help to counterbalance the negative effects of stress so that it doesn’t have as deep an impact on you.
Don’t be afraid to say goodbye. Sometimes giving up some of the things we tend to hold on to, that’s not good for our well-being in the first place, is a major step towards physical, emotional, and mental freedom from stress. Goodbye destructive relationship, goodbye downright debilitating marriage. Goodbye aggravating job.
When goodbye isn’t the fix for the problem, however, the following activities may help relief stress. Remember stress affects each of us differently and therefore we may choose stress relief activities or techniques that best suits us. Your ability to cope will determine how well you handle stress.
Plenty of sleep, rest and relaxation
Talking it over with someone
Listening to music
For severe stress leading to depression professional help such as therapy and counselling may be the required approach to de-stressing.
Also, KISS it (keep it simply simple). The less complicated you conduct your life the greater your chance of avoiding stress.
Refuse to carry anything that weighs you down, that keeps you back, that’s not good for you, that prevents you from becoming the best version of yourself.
Remember the catch words: KICK and K.I.S.S. After you kick stress out kiss your life…keep it simply simple. Good luck! Happy living!
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