Have you ever read a job post which says “must be able to handle stress or can cope up with stress” as one of the traitsbeing looked for? This only shows how society perceives stress. It has already become a part of our lives, a given, an inevitable that must be dealt with. There is no exact formula on how to manage stress. It varies depending on the stress triggers which also depend on one’s personality. Among the stress groups enumerated below, find out which one you belong to.
1. So much to do, so little time
This kind of stress is usually for over-achievers who want to maximize very limited time over a lot of to do’s. There is nothing wrong with trying to be productive as long you don’t overdo it. Have you noticed yourself always being late for appointments because you try finishing several, almost impossible chores before leaving the house? Or are you the type who waits for the deadline and crams up to be able to deliver? Do you feel the rush to complete tasks as if you’re racing against someone? This is precisely the reason why you need to set realistic goals and manage your time well. Not everything that you need to do is urgent, and therefore, you can set your priorities and take things one at a time.
This is still related to the first group, but the difference is, regardless of the available time and urgency, some people are just so used to doing more than one thing at a time. This is primarily because of the gadgets that allow us to do so. Example, mp3s let us jog and lift weights while listening to the music. Mobile phones and notebooks encourage us to answer e-mails while attending meetings. This is okay as long as you know your limitations. Have you noticed kids of today becoming anti-social because they have found PSPs as a replacement for their playmates? Don’t let this happen to you. It is even better if you take pockets of time doing nothing at all. Allow yourself to relax and enjoy your time with your loved ones, or else, you’ll be burnt out.
3. Unmet Expectations
This is common to those who are perfectionist, with high standards and are idealistic. While we want things to be smooth and perfect, there are elements that are just uncontrollable but can be anticipated. That is why you have to have a plan B in case the first one does not work out. However, no matter how many plans we do, unforeseen events can still happen. The key is to let go, utilize what’s available and savor the outcome. If you set your standards too high, you will always be bound for failure and frustration- nothing will please you. Most of the time, the little details that annoy you won’t even matter anymore in a day or two- so why sweat it? Another way is the way you look at things, take problems as challenges and as rooms for growth. E.g. If you’re finding it difficult to get the hang of your job, you must be proud because it’s a job that requires skill and not just anyone can take your place.
Pleasing everyone is almost equal to not being true to self. If you feel pressured to do something you are against to, say no. If you feel bothered by the presence or language of a particular person, keep your distance as much as possible. However, if you cannot avoid the person, especially if you’re living under the same roof, express your feelings instead of bottling them up. Regardless if you are not the confronting type of person, there are lots of means to communicate. This way, you don’t keep the burden to yourself and even if it doesn’t work out, the mere fact that you faced your opponent by speaking up is a big step towards liberation. Be willing to compromise as well, so you and the people around you will find a happy middle ground.
Worrying is not only a stress trigger but can also be a cause of insanity. If you are awaiting results, say of an exam, put your mind and body to rest and stop worrying. After all, pass or fail worrying cannot change anything. If paranoia continues to clutter your mind, try to do other things that will keep you preoccupied such as meditating, exercising, shopping, watching a funny movie, going out with friends, getting a massage, etc. Not only will this give you peace of mind, you will also reap its healthy rewards. Moreover, avoid the worry-triggers, e.g. watching news on TV, which only shows you how dangerous it is outside.
Recognize when stress is starting to build up and be ready with your coping mechanisms. What’s important is for you to take control and not be devastated which can cause intellectual and emotional mishaps- making you lose your grip and unable to accomplish anything in the end. Stress is known to us with a negative connotation. The truth is, stress can be utilized to your advantage if you only know how to.
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