How to Manage Stress Effectively

stressThese days, it can be very easy to get overwhelmed as we juggle between work, family and other commitments. There are lots of tasks we have to deal with on a daily basis and chances of getting busy, tired and stressed are very high. Irrespective of how busy you can become, you need to set aside some time to rewind and refresh. Learning how to manage stress takes time, but it is not that very hard.

 

What is Stress?

Stress is more of a feeling of being under intense and abnormal pressure. This pressure emanates from different sectors and aspects of your daily life. Pressure can be caused by an increased workload, arguments or just a transitional period in your life. You may experience a lot of pressure when dealing with issues affecting your family, or dealing with a tough financial situation.

 

Signs

When dealing with a stressful situation, there are a couple of ways to identify the same. Common signs of stress may include a feeling of constant worry and anxiety, a feeling of being overwhelmed, when you experience difficulties concentrating, having constant mood swings, having a short temper, difficulties breathing, depression, low self-esteem, abnormalities in eating among others.

People react differently to stress. Research has shown that controlled stress can indeed be positive. It can make you more alert and increase your response rate to stressing situations. The benefits posed by stress are short-lived. However, excessive and prolonged stress can be detrimental to your health.

There are a couple of ways to deal with a stressful situation and these include;

 

Identify the source of stress

StressedYou will not be able to deal with a stressful situation if you are not aware of what is causing the stress. Identifying the source of stress may not be as easy as it sounds, but that is the first thing you need. It can be so easy to overlook at your own thoughts, words, emotions, and habits and fail to identify what is causing stress. You need to identify what is constantly stressing you to be able to manage it.

 

Practice 4As of Stress Management

You can approach stress from the 4As of stress management. First, you need to avoid unnecessary stress. You will be surprised by the fact that a large number of issues causing stress in your life can be eliminated. You also need to avoid people who stress you. If someone is constantly causing stress in your life, limit the number of interactions you have with them. You also need to take control of your environment but turning off all the things that stress you. Additionally, prepare a to-do list and stick to it to avoid causing unnecessary pressure to yourself.

Accept things you can’t change

Some sources of stress are natural and can’t be avoided. There are some stressful situations that are out of your management and control. This means you should try to accept the things you can’t control. Do not waste your time trying to control the uncontrollable. When you are facing a very challenging situation, look at it as an opportunity to learn and grow. Accept some of the bad things that happen in your life and learn to forgive. It is always very important to share your feelings with those people who care as they can help you out.

 

 

 

How to Break a Bad Habit

habitBad habits interrupt your whole life and hinder you from reaching the potentials that you possess. Bad habits jeopardize your mental and physical health making you waste a lot of time and energy. Most bad habits are caused by two things which are stress and boredom.  Everything be it biting your nails, drinking every weekend, overspending on a shopping spree or just wasting time over the internet, all these happen as a result of stress and boredom.

The good news is that you can teach yourself new and good ways to deal with stress and boredom. The issues you are facing may be tough to deal with, but if you think about the benefits associated with quitting a bad habit, you should be motivated to make a move. All the habits you have right now, be it good or bad, happen with a reason.

 

If you are looking forward to breaking a bad habit, here is what you can do.

 

Choose a substitute

You need to plan way ahead of time on how to respond to a situation that forces you to adopt a bad habit. What will you do when you are faced with the urge to smoke? What are you going to do when social media is calling and urging you to procrastinate? Whatever it is that you are going to do, you need to have a plan for what you will do to deal with the bad habit.

 

Cut off the triggers

You need to cut off the triggers that entice you to adopt a bad habit. If you always smoke when you go to a certain joint, then avoid going to that joint in totality. If you eat cookies whenever you are in the house, then throw away all the cookies. If the first step you do when you sit in the house it to turn on the TV, then ensure that the remote is far away. Make it easier for yourself to break bad habits by cutting off all the triggers.

 

Your environment

Surround yourself with people who live the way you want to live. You don’t have to ditch your old friends, but you should never underestimate the power of finding new friends. You need to join forces with someone who encourages you to be the best version of yourself. If you have been struggling to achieve something, join hands with another person who is in dire need to achieve the same and work together towards meeting that goal.

How to Successfully Adopt New Habits

habitNo matter what type of habit you want to adopt, be it a good or bad one, you may come to discover that changing what you are used to doing on a daily basis can be more demanding. If you are ready to take a new challenge, the first thing you need is to take a moment and evaluate your mindset. Any change that will ever happen to you begins in the brain. It is a common conception in our society that change is difficult; people always want to maintain the status quo. The thought of taking a new challenge seems daunting. However, you can do it. All you need is to believe in yourself. Adopting a new habit boils down to being consistent in everything you do.

To increase your chances of success in adopting a new habit, it is helpful that you break things down into six key steps.

 

Decide

You first need to decide what your new habit will be as this is the first step. You need to get very specific with this step. Will you be eating healthier, working out going to bed earlier or what is it that you want to specifically achieve. Figure out what you need to do as well as knowing why you want to do it. Knowing the importance of what you need to achieve serves as a motivating factor to help you achieve your goals faster.

 

Write it down

Write your new habit down. Doing so makes the habit both tangible as well as visible. You need to tell yourself what you are going to do, by doing it in writing. When you don’t write your goal down, you can easily be distracted and change your plans.

 

Develop a smart goal

You need to develop a goal according to the principles of the SMART acronym. You might have come across this acronym, but all we mean is that your goal must be smart, measurable, achievable, and realistic and time-bound.

 

Plan

You need to plan your schedule accordingly. You need to define when you will act on your goal. If your goal is to go to the gym more often, then decide if you will go in the morning or in the evening. Be specific to get all the details right and put up a calendar to guide you to implement your goals.

 

Act

Act on your habits and start performing on the behavior you want to adopt. As psychology tells it all, it is often the thought of an action that makes it difficult and not the real or actual action itself. Remind yourself the reasons you are adopting the new habit. Every day presents itself as a day to take action, so even when you miss a day, don’t give up in totality. When you slip up a single day, do not use that an excuse to give up.

 

Lastly, it is very important to access your progress. You may need to redesign your habits if necessary. Check in frequently to see the success you are making and the areas you are failing. If things are not going in the way you had planned them, it’s time you make some adjustments.