How to Create a Stress-Free Life
Who wouldn't want a stress-free life? It's the next best thing alongside world peace and free healthcare.
Although a stress-free life is next to the word 'impossible', stress is manageable. Here are tips that can help you create an 'almost' stress-free life.
UNDERSTAND HOW STRESS WORKS
When you're overcoming something you do not know, you're most likely to end up feeling defeated. This concept applies to stress. Managing stress is harder if you don't know its signs and effects.
A 'stressor' is a term when an object or person triggers negative thoughts and feelings. A stressor can be an experience, a thing, person, or place which increases your stress level. Here are signs that can help you know if you're stressed:
- constantly worrying or anxious about something
- feeling overwhelmed or persistently frustrated
- hard to concentrate or focus
- presence of irritability or mood swings
- difficulty in relaxing
- a depressed mood arises
- feeling weak or incapable which results to low self-esteem
- turning excessively to food or refraining to eat
- feeling restless or your sleeping habits changed
- excessive use of substances or drugs to cope
- feeling constipated or suffering from diarrhoea
- losing the drive to engage in activities you once loved
- feeling nauseous or dizzy
Stress can come from the littlest things like what to cook for dinner or what to say to new people you meet. It can also come from vital milestones like your workplace, school, or your family.
Stress can manifest physically. When there are physical signs, it indicates the intensity of stress. Look out for tense muscles, fatigue, coughs, colds, or migraines.
Related Article: The Common Types of Stress
CHECK WHAT STRESSORS ARE PRESENT
When you feel the weight of stress, don't stop there. Figure your stressors out. Here are questions that can help you check and sort your stressors:
- What areas in your life are you struggling with?
- Did you have an outburst today? If yes, what were you thinking about before it happened?
- Does your problem have a practical solution?
- Will your problem be better if you give it time?
- Is your problem unsolvable?
When you are able to sort the areas you're struggling with, it can be easier to manage. Focus on problems you can manage rather than issues that may take a lifetime to address.
REFLECT ON YOUR LIFESTYLE
When stress is present, it's a sign that there's a problem with your lifestyle. It's important to reflect so you can figure out and fix the problem. Here are questions that can guide you when reflecting:
- Are you taking on too much load?
- Can someone else handle the task when you need help?
- Is what you're doing a necessity or a desire?
- Is your deadline realistic?
- How can you make your approach to the problem simpler?
Being able to sort out the problems which are creating stress can help. Tackling your problems may take up an hour, a day, or a lifetime. Sorting out the stressors in your life can help release the pressure that comes from trying to do everything at once.
REPLACE AGGRESSION WITH ASSERTION
Holding on to grudges, working at a job you loathe, or dwelling in regret can trigger stress. You'll find yourself lashing out at others or yourself. Anger is a common emotion alongside stress. When you're frustrated, your frustration seeps out of you and creates a negative vibe.
Try replacing your anger with assertion. Engage in the fact that not everything goes your way, and that there are other ways to show your frustration. When you're assertive, you carefully check the pros and cons of your behavior. This helps you weigh out a kinder approach.
NURTURE YOURSELF AND YOUR RELATIONSHIPS
Another way to help you achieve an almost stress-free life is to love yourself and others. De-stressing can be in a form of self-care or socializing. To be kind to yourself and to others is a form of stress management. Life can be less stressful when there's so much anger or miscommunication. Here are ideas that can help you connect with yourself and others:
- Eat healthy
- Have a good sleep pattern
- Take breaks when you need it
- Call a friend during work breaks
- Hang-out with your friends
- Plan a casual dinner party with your family and friends
- Check on your family by messaging them or calling them
- Allow your friends to know that you need support
Self-care and communication with others give you an opportunity to switch off. Instead of having the need to be vigilant, you get to feel safe around family, friends, and yourself.
WHEN YOU FEEL LOST AND OUT OF CONTROL, GET HELP
Stress is a slippery slope. You first sigh heavily because of work and next comes a mental breakdown. Although stress is inevitable, it's avoided by taking pre-emptive measures.
If you're not taking action to manage stress, it can lead to physical or mental issues. Depression, Anxiety, and other mental disorders can arise if stress is not managed.
If you need help or if you lack support, consult a therapist or mental health professional. Therapy is one of the best ways to learn stress management.