Stress is one of those things that I think everyone experiences. From young ages we are acclimatised to it through homework, assignments and exams. Most people refer to stress as a bad thing: “I’m so stressed out I can’t focus” but if we accept our stresses and deal with them it doesn’t need to be. Stress is there to remind us that things are there to be done; it is that constant pressure that bears down of us when we have deadlines or important things to do. I’m am frequently stressed which many people around me will laugh at: “what have you got to be stressed about?” or “you’re never stressed”. To that first point, sure I have less than most to stress about, after all I don’t have to worry about food or rent and I don’t have a “proper job”; however, I do sit exams, hand in assignments, works to writing deadlines and other deadlines which are frequently set by no-one but me. Why? Because I need some stress to work. That could be why some say I’m never stressed because it appears like that as I work well with stress.
I thought then I would provide some tips on dealing with stress.
10) Breath- I know it’s well publicised. Steady slow breathing works at calming people down, it’s a temporary fix but it can be all you need to sort through how you are going to move forward.
9) Plan- write a list and work through it. Some people use an hour by hour schedule to do this, while this can work I don’t see the logic in creating more deadlines to alleviate the stress coming from deadlines. Just go through it stroking it off it will show you how much you really have to do rather than what all of your thoughts are telling you.
8) Remove distractions- People when stressed or bored are prone to procrastination, I should know I’m a pro procrastinator. To prevent you going off task, losing time and thus becoming more stressed, remove potential distractions.
7) Unload- If you have a strong support network it can be useful to unload once and a while and share what’s up. They may even offer advice and support that can help lessen what you are stressed about.
6) Remember and eat properly- People during time of stress often forget to eat properly. This will not help you. Maintain a good diet and you will maintain your energy, hopefully going someway to preventing you becoming a tired, grumpy mess.
5) Smile- It may not seem like much but if you smile it will incline you and those around you to take on a more positive attitude which is always handy when dealing with stress.
4) Rewards- Set a reward for yourself to motivate you and remove a bit of the tension. By looking forward to your reward the focus becomes less on the stress and more on the potential happiness.
3) Meditation- It can be a chore and seem slightly counter intuitive to remove 20-30 minutes from your already overly busy schedule but trust me it’s worth it and if you are really stressed it will make its time back very quickly. By clearing your mind completely or focusing on a calming relaxing place it can help your mind take a break, breath for a moment and allow it to work more effectively.
2) Help others- This is a bit of an odd one but what has always helped me release stress is by helping others. When revising for my exams, working with others and helping them understand things always made me less stressed about the exams. Equally when it comes to problems in life helping others with theirs can remove some of the stress of my own.
1) Use it- My number one top tip in how to deal with stress is by using that stress to help you. Just like in performing when nerves can be harnessed by the performer, stress can be harnessed by the ordinary person. Rather than letting it overwhelm you and drag you down, ride on top of it, let it lift you up. If all of those thoughts are whiling around and the pressure is on clutch on to each second and each thought and make it work for you. Stress drives me, without it I would probably do very little if anything.
So there we go, not only can stress be tamed but also utilised for our gain. Hopefully this article has given you something new to try when dealing with stress.