Unfortunately in our society, having a very stressed, hectic life has become something of which to be proud. Suppose it makes us feel important or something. We lament how much stress we are under yet do very little to bring it under control. To experience stress is certainly normal for any living, breathing human. But, to be completely overcome by it and feel powerless to fight it? Not so much. Here are just a few tips to help you take back control and move through life with greater ease.
On one hand, you are probably very aware of what is causing you stress, the big things like that big project at work, or trying to juggle getting your degree with working full time and raising your kids. But, on the other hand, you may not be fully aware of where your stress is coming from. You are just so consumed with it and have gotten so used to operating in that way, you don't even realize what is happening.
The first step in combating your stress is getting more familiar with what is causing it. What exactly in your home life is making you feel stressed? What exactly at work makes you feel stressed? When you break it down into more specific triggers, you can find more effective ways to deal with it. Don't just do this in your head. Take out a piece of paper and a pen, or make a file on your computer—though the former is much more powerful. You want something to look at, something to reference.
Yes, exercise for stress reduction is a common, clichéd recommendation for managing stress. But clichés are clichés for a reason—they are true through and through. So, instead of dismissing them with an eye roll, how about heeding them? Many people put off exercise because they think they have to do some intense workout for an hour for it to count at all, and because they may not have the time or they are a bit out of shape, that doesn't sound very appealing. So, they do nothing instead.
If you have been lax with exercise, you don't have to jump right into some hardcore routine. Even if you can just walk 15 minutes to start after dinner, that is golden. Take a short walk at the end of your lunch break to get the blood flowing and an energy boost before going back to work. If you want something a bit more gentle, consider taking yoga or signing up for tai chi classes.
Where Can You Make Immediate Changes?
There are probably some things in your life that you can't just drop immediately, or make major changes right away and that's fine. But, there are probably lots of things you can do right now to get the stress-management-ball rolling. It doesn't matter how small something is...all those little changes can add up to big time relief. It is often these smaller things that can really compound the stress of the bigger issues, and tending to them can make a huge difference that you probably don't realize now.
Are you overextended with commitments and could maybe pull back from one or two or release them altogether? Are you stressing because you insist on cleaning your house top to bottom every other day? Can you pull back to maybe twice a week or even once, with a bit of maintenance in between? Is there a class or some other activity you have been wanting to try because you are interested but kept delaying on signing up? How about you do that right now?