Everyone has dealt with some form of stress one way or another; sometimes it can be a motivating force – like encouraging you to finish up that analytics reporting for work that you’ve been dreading – but other times, it can be debilitating and if left untreated it can become a chronic problem.
Stress can have a detrimental effect on your mental, emotional and physical health and over an extended period of time it can even hinder your ability to live a normal life. The good news is that everyone has the ability to overcome it, but not everyone does because they might not know how to cope with stress.
An important factor in eliminating stress is indentifying what is provoking it. By understanding the root cause of your stress this will give you a better grip on how to eliminate it. Carry a note pad with you and the moment you start to tense up and feel the onset of stress, write it down. Keep a record of your day and by the end of the work week, sit down and strategize a plan to eliminate all the stress factors and then execute!
Was it work related? Are you taking on more responsibilities than you can handle? This might mean you may have to set more reasonable expectations for yourself and start asking for assistance from other people. Make a list of all your responsibilities, assess them in order of priority and then delegate or ask for help from those you can rely on.
Do little things start to irritate you? Is your anger easily provoked? They say that the things you say and do while you are angry are the best things you’ll ever regret. Train yourself not to react in stressful situations, step aside and take a few minutes to gather your composure and just focus on breathing. Taking two minutes to compose yourself is much better spent than spending two minutes apologizing to someone about something you uttered in haste.
Remember that stress happens to the best of us, no one is ever exempt from it, but what makes some people less prone to stress is the way in which they handle it. Don’t let it consume your life, but use it as a tool to help enhance it.