Stress is a part of life. Not everything can be free and easy and although we often expect it to be, it just does not work that way. There are always going to be times in our lives that are marked by hardship, worry and anxiety, i.e. stress. Some stress is good for us. It makes us perform better and be more competitive. But constant stress and tension can be incredibly unhealthy. When we have thoughts that are overwhelming and constant, they can drag you into an abyss of darkness. Feelings of disaster, dread and lack of control are a killer, especially when they are ongoing.
What are the repercussions of stress?
Cases of physical and mental stress can lead to burnout, depression, addiction, high blood pressure, heart problems, obesity and mental breakdown. The most common type of mental health problems, or breakdowns, are caused by stress and anxiety.
How can you balance the good with the bad?
It is very important to balance the good with the bad. You do not want to obliterate stress and anxiety completely, they are feelings and emotions and you do not want to block them out or bottle them up. But instead of allowing them to lead your life and to control you, and instead of suffering terribly, there are ways for you to get control. There are technique in which you can stay mentally strong and deal with your daily stresses.
Five ways to stay mentally strong and deal with stress:
It might sound ridiculous but it really helps. If you tell yourself you’re okay and ‘you’ve got it’, you’ll be okay. Thinking positively gives you a heads up: it ups you in the right kind of mindset to tackle problems head on. If you think negatively, you set yourself up for disaster or failure. Tell yourself that you are strong, in control, tough and that nothing will stop you and that you can win. Try it, it works.
2.Find A Solution
It helps to sort out problems. Instead of running away from them, face them. You can do it slowly but acknowledge your problems, talk to people and see how you can sort them out. Get help. Find a support group. Chat to a counsellor, a doctor or a friend. If it is a problem with a person, make a time to chat and sort out your issues. If it is financial, chat to your bank manager, a financial planner or again, a friend get help. You don’t need to sort everything out on your own. Tackle one problem at a time.
Be aware that things do not always work out as planned. Expect the unexpected. Have a backup plan. You will strengthen your mental attitude by knowing that the road may be bumpy and it won’t be plain sailing all the way. In the same way that you anticipate changes in the weather, anticipate changes in your mood and in your life. Be prepared. Have a Plan B.Recognize symptoms of anxiety or depression and act before they have control over you.
4.Balance your schedule
Think ahead and plan accordingly. We all have crazy lives at the moment. Men and women work and we have to juggle home, kids, pets, work, money, play, gym, extra murals and more work all the time, as well as a million other things in between. And time is precious. Allow yourself extra time whenever possible, give yourself time out and take time to breathe slowly between runnings around. Manage your time if you can, write a schedule, cut out anything unnecessary, and most importantly, look after yourself!
5.Use stress management techniques
There are a number of tools you can use to alleviate stress. Here is a list of our top ten.
- Join the gym
- Yoga and meditation
- See friends and take time out
- Read a book or magazine.
- Listen to music
- Pick flowers from the garden
- Take a walk
- Pet a dog
There are many ways for you to become emotionally stronger. Do whatever works for you. But remember that self-care is vital. Look after yourself and stop sweating the small stuff.