How to manage stress for a happier life
by Nimisha Roy
July 11, 2019
Every one of us inevitably has to face failures, challenges, and rejection in our day to day lives. Every setback has a close friend named ‘stress’. Even the most successful personalities had their stressful times rolling. So, what did they do in these moments of adversity? Did they crumble under the enormous stress? Certainly no. They believed in themselves and knew they had to make things work because beyond stress lies the road to glory. Pick up the story of any successful personality and you’d be amazed how much pressure they’ve been through before seeing the horizon of success. Haven’t we heard the saying, ‘a smooth sea never made a good sailor’?
For some people, stress is a driving force and constantly reminds them that a lot of goals still need to be accomplished. For the majority of others, it becomes a source of negative emotions like anxiety, irritation, self-doubt or emotional breakdown. Your success and happiness is a function of how effectively you deal with the stressors in your life. In this article, I present before you some of the tips and tricks that you could follow to manage stress and maintain a happier outlook.
1. Finding the culprit
To handle stress, identifying the source is the first and foremost step. Stress can emanate from a variety of sources like health, financial issues, workplace expectations, relationship issues or death of a loved one. Sometimes, stress can come from inside when we are creating scenarios in our heads and just keep worrying about them. Once the source is figured out, we can take the corrective measures accordingly.
This is valid for both the work and personal space. Begin by removing all the clutter on your office table and keeping only the required items at their defined places. Get rid of unnecessary items at home. Organize your wardrobe, kitchen cabinets, and bookshelves. Also, organize your finances i.e. where and when you should spend the money because at the end of the month a little more savings than before would surely destress you. One of the major components of being organized is having a daily routine.
One of the most widely used techniques for time management is the ‘Eisenhower matrix’. This matrix lets you prioritize tasks based on their urgency and importance. Please keep in mind that being organized is not a walk in the park, it requires a certain degree of self-discipline but it’s all worth the effort.
3. Be proactive
To achieve our desired goals we have to take responsibility for our life and control how we respond. We cannot just sit there and wait for things to happen. There are things which are beyond our control, so why waste our energy on them? Rather we should focus on what we could realistically accomplish. This saves a lot of time. Proper planning is an indispensable part of being proactive. We all know that ‘a goal without a plan is just a wish’. Planning involves foreseeing future events and finding the solutions for possibles challenges that may accompany these events.
Being proactive is a very important attribute of success in the professional space because a proactive person takes initiative and doesn’t blame others for a setback.
4. Watch comedy
Yes, you read that right. Researches have clearly shown that humor helps increase the release of endorphins and reduce the level of stress hormones like cortisol and catecholamines thereby maintaining the mood balance. While love stories and dramas might help you get your tears out, it won’t leave you feeling better for a long time. Trust me, watching comic movies and TV series helps a lot by providing a whole new perspective. Many stand up comedians even address serious issues in such a funny manner that you feel like letting go of some of those depressing feelings plaguing you. Humor and laughter are the elixirs for our brain and help to maintain the level of dopamine and serotonin. Whenever we laugh, our body receives an enhanced amount of oxygen which is beneficial for organ functions.
5. Pamper yourself with ‘me-time’
Dedicate a few hours to yourself. Indulge in things that make you feel happy like grabbing a bite of your favorite street food or go shopping. Many people have handled extreme levels of stress through their hobbies. According to research published in the journal of positive psychology, investing time in small innovative tasks leads to an increased level of positivity. Cooking is one such hobby that induces positivity and alleviates stress. So, what are you waiting for? Get up and bring out those culinary skills of yours to work in the kitchen.
Stress often stems from distractions encountered in our daily lives causing a total loss of our ability to focus. To regain focus our body and mind need to be calm and relaxed. You don’t necessarily need to go to an expensive spa resort to relax rather you could just sit with your favorite book along with a cup of coffee and enjoy your me-time. Put your mobile away for some time and just relish the moment of mindfulness. Practice deep breathing and feel everything surrounding you, the objects and the sounds.
6. Spend time with the ones who love you
Maybe its time to pay that long pending visit to your parents or that old friend you used to share every instance of your life with. Believe it or not but those simple hugs and simple acts of affection and kindness from our loved ones are so soothing that we are bound to feel better. The positive vibes created just by sitting together and eating a home-cooked meal are intensely therapeutic. Our family and friends help us realize who we truly are and how we can connect to our real selves. Communicating with the people who form a support system for us fills us with strength and provides a whole new perspective. Sometimes their experiences can give us the wisdom and courage to deal with challenges that seem insurmountable.
We cannot deny the fact that the world we live in today is full of opportunities like never before. Everyone out there is trying hard to carve a niche for themselves. A little bit of stress is always healthy and keeps us motivated to accomplish the set goals. But we need to stop stressing before it becomes chronic and takes a toll on our health. If stress has been a constant in your life for a long time, expert advice should be sought without any further ado.