We have catapulted into a society geared towards getting more done. Our environment has many factors that cause stress. In 2014 a survey conducted by the American Psychological Association reported that 72% of Americans are experiencing some levels of stress. Which is completely normal because in life you have to learn how to expect the unexpected. But, we don’t need a survey to tell us Americans feel stressed. Just read the body language of your co-workers, friends, and family.
Daily life challenges are difficult enough but then the workload. Many jobs now need you to multi-task. When multi-tasking has been proven unproductive. The quality of our work is lessened by this trend and increasing procrastination.
Life will throw many challenges at you. Some challenges will be easier to overcome than others. Which can make work/life balance seem impossible. At times when life has become increasingly overwhelming, it can be hard to stay positive and focused on the big picture. Keep in mind, however, that stress is a choice.
If you can’t afford to take a vacation to unplug, no worries. Below are two simple practices you can start to utilize now to manage your stress and lead a happier life:
#1 De-brief your stress.
In highly stressful situations it is crucial to take a step back and prioritize things in order. Do not try to tackle everything at once because then you feel overwhelmed and will not get anything accomplished.
Lists are really helpful in determining what to do first. If something has been nagging at you that needs to be done, I suggest that being number one. Procrastination can be a huge roadblock when you are trying to eliminate stress and pressure. If you are a procrastination offender you are putting yourself at risk of higher stress levels.
Save yourself some frustration and cut down on having ‘fits’ by getting things done ahead of time. For example, don’t wait until the last day a survey for a job is due to complete. Another example would be to get things done at work as they are assigned.
#2 Change your focus.
A change of focus doesn’t require a change of feelings. Make one change in your life that could lead to reducing stress even if it will make you uncomfortable. For example, after losing my job paying my rent became difficult but out of pride I stay living there until the stress became too much. I was so stressed my hair started falling out. I made the tough decision to move back in with my mother.
Answer this simple question (Write down the first thing that comes to your mind). What is holding you back from making a necessary change? relationship or work? financial stress?
If you over-think your answer you may explain things away. You may say that a new promotion with crazy hours and an unproductive team is healthy stress because it is benefiting your career. When the promotion may not have been a good choice for your personal life.
Determine the source of your stress and deal with it accordingly. Of course, my choice had repercussions because you can’t just leave an apartment without still being held liable for the costs. Decide what is more important to you.
Maybe the consequences of letting go would be easier to balance than maintaining an unhealthy situation.
You will lead a happier life once you have a better understanding of the underlying causes of your distress. Once you know why you get stressed and the proper way to react to it you will develop a better way to find solutions to your problems.
Let’s continue the conversation in the comments. If you enjoyed this post share it with a friend or colleague who is struggling with stress.
What are your #weekend #goals to help reduce stress?
Featured image Photo by Atikh Bana