We can’t always prevent or avoid stress, but how you conduct your lifestyle can radically reduce it. Instead of viewing every problem as a massive explosive strapped to your body, it’s worth it to slow your thoughts down and recognize that nobody is a superhuman.
If your stress is coming from your job or career, try to find ways to appreciate the little things as opposed to viewing everything as a puzzle to solve. How you approach communication and problem solving will make an enormous difference.
It’s easy to be absent minded in tense moments and act or respond impulsively when issues arise. Stress accumulates because we allow things to fester and don’t effectively sort out various dilemmas in our daily lives.
Mindfulness is the key to successfully navigating stressful situations. While stress fogs our brains, an open mind leaves room for new insights we otherwise might not have considered, so it’s important to keep our minds free of unnecessary mental clutter.
Every system of the body responds to stress, so learning how to respond positively can have numerous benefits. With that in mind, here are eleven ways to handle stress wisely.
1. Ease Into Your Day
Before you even get out of bed in the morning, give yourself some time to meditate. Focus on your breath and get unnecessary thoughts out of your head to change the way you think and perceive situations or events.
Beginning your day by easing into it in utter silence will enhance your performance at work and keep you calm enough to adequately process chaotic or busy moments.
Avoiding a muddled mind will improve your ability to accomplish tasks and execute them to completion at an optimal level. A clear mind promotes effective cognitive processing and assessing, so if you work in a hectic environment, it helps if your thoughts and actions naturally calm you down.
2. Consider Self-talk
Self-talk, when done correctly, can give you just the confidence you need to tackle any hardships you may encounter at work or home.
Affirmations are a form of self-talk and include reminding yourself that you are where you need to be, that you can handle anything that comes your way, and that you’re a fast learner. If everything feels difficult, remind yourself that, with time, what was once so challenging will become second nature.
Self-talk can serve you as a remedy for boosting your mood when you’re feeling low or like you just can’t cope. How you speak with and interact with yourself should align with how you interact and speak with others.
Anxiety is often self-induced by our thoughts and internal dialogue. What and how you think creates a ripple effect in your communications with others. Self-talk may be just what you need to overcome challenging obstacles in your day-to-day life.
3. Be Honest With Yourself
Being honest with your friends, peers, and colleagues is one thing, but being honest with yourself is quite another. Telling yourself the truth when you’ve goofed up or made an already difficult situation worse might be a tough hurdle to overcome, but doing so can help your mind handle stress more efficiently.
If you’re prone to worsening your own stress, be honest with yourself about it and determine to work on it. Using mindfulness and grounding techniques, you can overcome your tendencies toward stress before, during, and after life events and difficult situations.
4. Omit Unimportant Details
Unimportant details might include worrying that a friend, colleague, or boss has it in for you, that you could have done this or that better, or that you’re not exactly where you want to be in any given moment. All of these nagging thoughts are just your mind entertaining unimportant details that you don’t need to indulge.
Our own thoughts have the power to completely inundate us with pointless or even silly concerns, so omitting them can be key when learning how to handle stress.
Have you ever found yourself in a stressful situation at work and later found yourself ruminating until your head ached? This needless mental torture is a surefire way to drain all of your energy. Instead, omit the ruminations and focus on the positive aspects of your day.
5. Become a Pro at Assessing Situations
When things get chaotic, it can be difficult to appropriately assess all that’s going on. One way individuals exacerbate their stress is by acting impulsively or doing something absentmindedly. It’s not uncommon to misinterpret rapidly unfolding situations, so moving and responding mindfully and slowly can be beneficial.
Even in the core of chaos, pull yourself together and create a system. Find ways to be skilled in assessing situations in the moment by slowing your mind and thoughts down with your breathing.
Being mindful not to throw fuel on an already raging fire will allow you to find the next best thing to do. If we can do that, we can drastically improve our ability to handle stress.
6. Learn How to Self-compromise
Practicing self-compromise means that you are willing to accept stress as an unavoidable part of life that you can work with without being overthrown or dictated by it. A wise mind knows that stress doesn’t have to hold the reigns.
Self-compromise is an empowering skill to acquire — you’re accepting something as is while deciding not to be controlled by it.
7. Visualize Scenarios to Apply in the Present and Future
Visualization is a great resource for those struggling with anxiety or stress. Before going to work, visualize yourself having a successful day and create a plan for yourself.
Fear of failure often contributes to stress and anxiety, so visualizing situations of success has the ability to change how you function in your day-to-day life. It can be a weapon for combating stress before its onset.
Before you have to perform at work, visualize yourself reaching your desired outcome. ((MentalHelp: Visualization and Guided Imagery Techniques for Stress Reduction))
8. Maintain a Problem-solving Mindset
In difficult matters at home or work, maintaining a problem-solving mindset will keep your creative juices flowing, and you’ll be quick and effective in your responses.
You will also set yourself up for success by not viewing issues or problems as if they are large mounds of tangled thread. Instead, when something comes up, imagine yourself solving the problem quickly. Maintaining this frame of mind will put you in the driver’s seat as opposed to stress driving over you.
9. Let Go of What You Can’t 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.
10. Seek Simplicity
Every aspect of life has its complications, from relationships to work to how we spend our free time. Our thoughts naturally spiral and blow everything out of proportion, causing us to over-analyze situations, so learning how to reign this in and handle the stress it causes is crucial.
The simplest thing to do when this happens is to breathe. Relaxed breathing can intervene and bring your thoughts back to a more concrete and accurate place from which to work. ((Michigan Medicine: Stress Management: Breathing Exercises for Relaxation))
11. Don’t Internalize Stressors
It’s not uncommon to take someone else’s worries, burdens, fears and make them our own. On the other hand, we regularly keep our own stressors locked away and baking on high temperatures, which creates a quick route to burnout.
If you notice yourself holding on to a stressful situation, try an activity such as writing in a journal or completing a “brain dump,” the act of emptying the mind of troublesome or recurring thoughts by putting them into a different medium.
Drawing boundaries with those around you can also help to avoid internalizing stressors. If you don’t want someone handing you their problems, create some distance or vocalize your concerns.
The Bottom Line
Stress can be far more destructive than we realize. More importantly, it can kill the joy in our work and hobbies and destroy our overall well-being if left unchecked. You have the power to take back control and not be consumed by stress. Maintaining a wise, open mind can eliminate stress from your life and allow you to take back control.
Learn to quiet obsessive or unnecessarily repeated thoughts using meditative breathing and grounding techniques. Focus on the present moment and do so with the goal of keeping things simple.
Instead of letting stress consume you, learn how to handle it wisely and experience the benefits of a life lived with less worry.