Stress affects people in many ways and each person has their own way of coping or not.
Stress that is productive improves productivity, triggers action and can be very beneficial if you are able to handle stress. This type of stress can be seen as the competitive edge, triggering action to stay ahead of the game as often found in sales teams with their own and team goals. This, if handled and dealt with in a positive way, is positive stress.
However, not everyone can cope with competitive stress and each person as an individual needs to find their own ways of dealing with stress. Stress becomes overwhelming when we can no longer cope with the situation, and this is the time to take a step back and seek help.
First thing to do is stop, take a step back and evaluate. This might just mean taking a couple hours out of your day, sitting with a cuppa, a pen and paper and making a list of things that you are not coping with, and a possible action plan of how to change the situation.
If you cannot do this for yourself as the saying goes "you cannot see the wood for the trees", then ask a family member or close friend for help. If you are a private person and need professional or outside help, then do that. When seeking help from outside of your circle check their reviews. There are also many online self-help courses, videos and workshops that can help you.
At the same time, if work is the stress trigger, what can you do to change that? Delegate to others, work less hours, hand in your notice? Only you can decide. In the meantime, you could use some simple techniques to help you…
- Sleep is important, if you are challenged to stay asleep or go to sleep, use a few drops of lavender oil on a tissue next to your bed. Lavender helps you relax, reduces anxiety and stress. You can also brew a light lavender tea before bed, which not only helps with anxiety and sleep, but it also assists with the digestive system and reduces tension in the blood stream, which is beneficial for heart and blood pressure.
- Have a sleep down time routine one hour before you go to bed by having a relaxing bath with soothing oils and playing soft gentle music to help you wind down.
- Meditation in the morning helps set you up for the day by giving you energy and helps to reduce stress and anxiety.
- Write a gratitude journal at the end of each day, being grateful for all the things you have experienced.
- If the stress is from one person, write them a letter, saying everything you wouldn't say to them in person writing everything you need to say. Do not reread it, take it, and burn it. Letting go is the best solution. You might need to do this several times to really let go.
Sometimes things that are causing stress are out of your control. Ask the following of yourself?
- Do I really need to feel this way?
- What am I achieving by being so anxious and stressed?
- What do I need to know or do to stop feeling this way?
- What can I do to help me?
Answer honestly, only you know the true answers and mostly the answers will be to 1) No, 2) Nothing, and 3) might be as simple as switching off the news and stop following social media. 4) the simple answer – It is possible to do something different.
Who was it that said "doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome is the first sign of madness" - Albert Einstein
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