Tips For Staying On Track
- Plan for setbacks. Make a personal action plan by writing down your goals, any possible barriers, and your ideas for getting past them. By thinking about these barriers now, you can plan ahead for how to deal with them if they happen.
- Get support. Tell family and friends your reasons for wanting to change. Tell them that their encouragement makes a big difference to you in your goal to reduce stress. Your doctor or a professional counselor can also provide support. A counselor can help you set goals and provide support in dealing with setbacks.
- Pat yourself on the back. Don’t forget to give yourself some positive feedback. If you slip up, don’t waste energy feeling bad about yourself. Instead, think about all the times you’ve avoided getting stressed by making changes.
How To Practice Your Motivation
Its hard to be your best if your motivation is low. The beauty is that you can use science to improve your motivation.
There is a theory of motivation called self-determination theory.
According to the theory, there are 3 basic needs that fuel intrinsic motivation:
You can remember them as CAR.
It has to do with internal motivation, and how to do we create environments that anchor internal motivation.
So theres internal and theres external, and the reason we value internal so much in the world of humans flourishing and human performance, both of those, is because we dont need some external stimulus to get us going, and so internally we are self-driven.
And there are 3 components that help support internally driven people.
How To Handle Stress At Work
- Luana Marques, PhD, Contributor
If youre currently working, you probably know what it feels like to be stressed on the job. A must-do project arrives without warning. Three emails stack up for each one you delete. Phones ring, meetings are scheduled, a coworker drops the ball on a shared assignment.
Recommended Reading: Are Nuclear Stress Tests Safe
Social And Job Issues That Can Cause Stress
- Your surroundings. Living in an area where overcrowding, crime, pollution, or noise is a problem can create chronic stress.
- Your social situation. Not having enough money to cover your expenses, feeling lonely, or facing discrimination based on your race, gender, age, or sexual orientation can add stress to your life.
- Your job. Being unhappy with your work or finding your job too demanding can lead to chronic stress. Learn how to manage job stress.
- Unemployment. Losing your job or not being able to find work can also add to your stress level.
A Framework For Calmness
Dr. Mike shared a simple framework for calmness.
Imagine two dimensions:
Now imagine that each dimension is a scale of 1-10, where 1 is low and 10 is high.
For example, if you think about your internal Activation on a scale of 1-10, where 1 is low activation, like a 0, 1 or 2. Theres not much going on. On the other end of the spectrum, a 10 for Activation, is you are overloaded and overwhelmed. Your cup is flowing over.
Now think of your performance. Again, a 0, 1, or 2 is really low performance.
A 10 would be extreme performance.
Don’t Miss: How To Stop Stressing So Much
Ways To Manage Stress
Acute stress is a normal part of life. Acute refers to the kind of stress that results from having to run to catch a bus. Almost everyone experiences this kind of stress from time to time.
Stress can be good in small doses, though. When your body is under stress your brain releases special hormones. These hormones cause your brain activity to increase, raise your pulse, and cause muscle tension. Stress is your bodys way of giving you an extra edge in a difficult situation. However, sustained stress, or chronic stress, can have negative health effects. Thats the kind of stress we experience when every day includes a long commute, negative interactions at work, worry about ongoing problems, or a feeling of being overwhelmed by the demands of life.
Helpful Ways To Deal With Stress At Work
40% of workers reported their job was very or extremely stressful. Thatâs a problem.
Regardless of what kind of work you do, the reality is that workplace stress is detrimental for employers and employees. Read on to find the causes of job stress, why itâs so harmful, and helpful tips to cope with workplace stress.
Don’t Miss: Can Stress And Anxiety Cause Afib
Tip : Practice The 4 As Of Stress Management
While stress is an automatic response from your nervous system, some stressors arise at predictable times: your commute to work, a meeting with your boss, or family gatherings, for example. When handling such predictable stressors, you can either change the situation or change your reaction. When deciding which option to choose in any given scenario, its helpful to think of the four As: avoid, alter, adapt, or accept.
Tips On How To Reduce Stress In Your Life
You wont be able to avoid stress altogether in your life, but one thing you can do is to ensure that the coping skills are there to counter the stress, which boils down to a good self-care routine. Some simple examples are:
Don’t Miss: Can Stress Cause Dry Mouth
Map Your Social Network
During times of high stress we have a tendency to retreat. We cancel social plans and focus on the work, money crisis or trauma that is our source of stress. But friends and social support are among the best forms of therapy to help you escape stress for brief periods of time. Friends can also make you feel better about yourself, and that mountain of stress in your life wont look so steep.
When Dr. Southwick, Yale Medical School psychiatrist, co-wrote his book on resilience, he interviewed a number of people who had shown resilience against all odds, including former prisoners of war and people who had survived trauma. One thing they had in common was social support.
The resilient people we interviewed actively reached out for support, said Dr. Southwick. They dont sit around and wait.
Even POWs held in isolation devised a tapping method of communication with their fellow prisoners. Most, if not all, said it was life-saving to know they werent alone and they were cared for, said Dr. Southwick.
When Dr. Southwick, a psychiatrist, meets with a new patient, one of the first things he does is construct a diagram of the patients social network. Sometimes they just talk about it some patients want to map it out on paper. Who is in your life? Who can you count on? asks Dr. Southwick. Make your own list of your social network and keep it handy when you need to call on someone for support.
The Science Of Recovery
Dr. Mike outlined a simple set of practices based on the science of recovery.
To keep it simple, he shared a short set of the big bets:
To sleep well, the science says, get 7-9 hours of sleep, mimic sundown, create a cave-like room, and create a pre-sleep routine. Make the room cold if you can, get it as dark as you can, and give yourself 45 minutes or so to shutter down so when your head hits the pillow you fall asleep.
To get your nutrition right, eat colorful foods, clean protein, healthy fats, and drink 5 glasses of water before 4 PM.
Eat a salad a day, can you do it? Can you get some vegetables on your plate that are green and leafy and dark in color and then do you have some clean proteins that youre going to put in place to get your brain-food in, get your avocados to get your healthy fats, your olive oil, unless you are allergic to them or something.
If the only thin you have is in a bag, hopefully whats in the bag, Mother Nature made.
For exercise, Dr. Mike recommends keeping it simple and avoid over-training, while you are building your immunity.
So get your hydration right, get your food right, and the next one is to get your exercise rolling.
I know that some people are contained in their place, right now. The exercise I want to talk about is to get you heart rate up, for like 10, 15, 20 minutes, somewhere in that range.
Recommended Reading: How To Stop Hair Falling Out Due To Stress
The Gift Of Uncertainty
According to Dr. Mike, uncertainty is a gift. While uncertainty creates stress, it also creates a chance to come fully alive.
Uncertainty activates us. It wakes us up and challenges us to respond.
Humans feel the most alive during uncertainty.
Dr. Mike says that as humans, we need to be tested.
And as humans, we are strong. History teaches us that we survive and outlast the toughest situations imaginable.
According to Dr. Mike, every moment that we live is a moment of uncertainty:
You and I have never been in this moment before and we dont know how its going to unfold.
But when were scared, uncertainty becomes dangerous.
When we are calm and grounded we love uncertainty. We call it spontaneity.
So I want to remind you that the most alive humans feel is when they are not quite sure whats coming down the pipe.
Healthy Ways To Cope With Stress
Feeling emotional and nervous or having trouble sleeping and eating can all be normal reactions to stress. Here are some healthy ways you can deal with stress:
- Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including those on social media. Its good to be informed but hearing about the traumatic event constantly can be upsetting. Consider limiting news to just a couple of times a day and disconnecting from phone, tv, and computer screens for a while.
- Take care of yourself. Eat healthy, exercise, get plenty of sleep, and give yourself a break if you feel stressed out.
- Take care of your body.
- Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditateexternal icon.
- Continue with routine preventive measures as recommended by your healthcare provider.
- Get vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine when available.
Also Check: Can Stress Cause Your Heart To Skip Beats
Is There Good Stress
First of all, is there such a thing as good stress? I was raised to think all stress was bad and thats probably why I freaked out whenever I even heard the word stress.
However, it turns out stress can be beneficial in some ways. Stress can improve cognitive function. With a certain amount of stress, we have better brain performance. We are sharper, work faster, and have better focus.
Although long-term stress can weaken your immune system making you vulnerable to viruses and infections, some short-term stress can help protect you from illnesses. This stress you experience can stimulate the production of interleukins inside your body which gives you a boost against illnesses. Again, this is not the same as what happens during chronic stress.
Your experiences make you who you are. Stress in the face of difficult situations is natural and, as you work through these challenges, it can make you more resilient. You are able to see that you can count on yourself to be resourceful, strong, and brave. Most likely, if you were faced with the same situation again, you would be better able to respond to it having learned from your previous experience.
Breathing And Relaxation Exercises
Many people find exercises that focus on breathing and muscle relaxation to be helpful in relieving stress. The playlist below will help you to understand how stress works and start feeling better. These exercises can be done anywhere and are designed to help you feel more relaxed in general, as well as helping you feel calmer if you are becoming stressed.
This playlist is free to download, and you can also stream it using the Soundcloud website or app. You can download and listen to individual tracks if there are particular exercises that work best for you. If you’re listening to it for the first time, it’s best to start from the beginning.
To access a BSL version of this playlist, .
Find out more by checking out these 10 stress busters.
Don’t Miss: How To Get Rid Of Stress Acne
Let Go Of What You Cant Control
Another way stress accumulates is through our desperation to steer the ship of our circumstances and outcomes. The only thing you have control over is your behavior, responses, and how you navigate life in the right direction.
Train yourself to let go of the things you have no control over. Instead of trying to make problems disappear, take control of how to handle stress when you face those problems. This will naturally point you in a better direction.
How Can You Help Yourself
Stress is a natural reaction to many situations in life, such as work, family, relationships and money problems.
We mentioned earlier on that a moderate amount of stress can help us perform better in challenging situations,34 but too much or prolonged stress can lead to physical problems. This can include lower immunity levels,35 digestive and intestinal difficulties, e.g. irritable bowel syndrome ,36 or mental health problems such as depression.37 It is therefore important that we manage our stress and keep it at a healthy level to prevent long-term damage to our bodies and minds.
Don’t Miss: How Can I Measure My Stress Level
If You Need More Help
Stress can be hard to deal with on your own. It’s okay to seek help if you need it. Talk with your doctor about the stress you’re feeling and how it affects you. A licensed counselor or other health professional can help you find ways to reduce stress symptoms. He or she can also help you think about ways to reduce stress in your life.
A counselor or health professional is useful for:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy . CBT teaches you to be aware of how you perceive stress. It helps you understand that the way you think about stress affects your response to it. CBT helps you create and use skills to deal with stress.
- Biofeedback. This technique teaches you how to use your mind to control skin temperature, muscle tension, heart rate, or blood pressure. All of these things can be affected by stress. Learning biofeedback requires training in a special lab or a doctor’s office.
- Hypnosis. With hypnosis, you take suggestions that may help you change the way you act. It’s important to find a health professional with a lot of training and experience. Some psychologists, counselors, doctors, and dentists know how to use hypnosis.
Main Causes Symptoms And Consequences Of Stress
Causes of stress:It is important to distinguish between a positive or eustress stress, which is essential for life, because it helps us to face challenges and to face changes that allow us to improve and advance as people, and a negative stress or distress.When stress stops being adaptive distress appears, which is negative and harmful stress for us.
What are stressors?
Stressors are stimuli that directly or indirectly trigger a stress reaction in us, They can be external or internal.
- External stressors:
There are situations in our lives that can cause us stress and that are inevitable or do not depend on us, such as an earthquake.
Stressors that refer to important life changes. It can be the case of a wedding, the birth of a child, the loss of a loved one, a breakup, or a job dismissal, for example.
Stressors that refer to the small things that life can hold in your daily life, such as a job promotion or a dismissal.
All these stressors are situations that force us to process information quickly, putting ourselves to the test.
- Internal stressors:
Some examples of what can be internal stressors are, among others:
- Negative thinking style.
- Limiting beliefs.
- Low self-esteem.
For us to feel stressed there must be a series of conditions:
Read Also: Where To Purchase Stress Balls
Effects Of Too Much Stress
“If constantly under stress, most of us will eventually start to function less well,” says Malaika Stoll, M.D., chief medical officer of SutterSelect. Multiple studies link chronic stress to a higher risk of heart disease, stroke, depression, weight gain, memory loss and even premature death, so “it’s important to recognize the warning signals,” she says.
Talk to your doctor about ways to manage stress if youre experiencing any of these symptoms:
- Prolonged periods of poor sleep
- Regular, severe headaches
- Unexplained weight loss or gain
- Feelings of isolation, withdrawal or worthlessness
- Constant anger and irritability
- Loss of interest in activities
- Constant worrying or obsessive thinking
- Excessive alcohol or drug use
- Inability to concentrate