Of late, people seem to usually discuss how stressful day to day life has become and how most of them are unable to cope with the same. I heard a very strong statement yesterday that “it is stress which is running their life and not the other way around’. So on this Monday morning I decided to address this topic which I believe most of us are overwhelmed with
To begin with the best advice given to me so far was to identify the source of the problem and nip the stress in the bud itself before it turned into a self made monster. By carefully editing your life, and changing certain habits, you can eliminate most (if not all) sources of stress in your life.
I don’t believe that a stress-free life is possible. Stress is a response to challenges in life and a life without challenges is too boring to contemplate. However I believe that most of the stress in our lives is unnecessary and can be eliminated by taking some simple (and some not-so-simple) steps. It can’t be accomplished overnight — I’ve been eliminating stressors in my life for awhile now, and am still not done. But it’s a worthwhile goal especially with stress being the silent killer.
Some of the ways one can manage stress better would be to work on
This is the most important part of managing stress and spending even ten minutes every day on writing down what stresses you the most will go a long way in putting your thoughts together and prioritising your problems. Once you have identified the top reasons for your stress, you can then work on solutions for those which are workable and also figure out how to manage those which are beyond your control say like the daily commute in traffic ( I always make it a point to listen to some audio books while driving to make use of the time and also not focus too much on bumper to bumper traffic and succumb to road rage)
Procrastinating will always lead to stress sooner than later and more often than not I too have succumbed to this habit. learning from this self defeating habit is something I value the most. Stress builds up when you do tend to keep postponing things which are important. It is not easy to work on this habit but a bull dog like attitude will put you on the road towards not procrastinating.
I have observed that the most stressed people are the ones who are not organised in their lives. Be it waking up on time or paying their bills. When one is disorganised in certain areas of their lives it slowly creeps in to most other areas and makes one stressful and incapacitated. The thumb rule is always to do things before hand and have a working plan whether be it getting your kids ready to school or even managing your daily commute.
I have mentioned in my earlier articles that Multitasking is the short cut for taking the stress road and it is something that one can work on immediately by just focusing on one thing at a time. I agree that some are experts in multitasking but not all of us can excel in this. The smarter option is always to single task and move on to the next one in the order of priority. You will be surprised with the effectiveness of focusing on one work completely. Some of the people who were considered experts in Multitasking have called me after a few months and shared their learning’s in not Multitasking.
Eliminate energy drains
All of us experience and come across certain kinds of tasks or people who sap our energy and leave us exhausted at the end of the day. Identify these tasks or people and cut them from your life or put in a workable plan if you cannot avoid them completely. There is a magic created when one identifies a problem area and focus on the solution. The same law holds good with this too which should help you to manage your stress to a large extent.
I am not advocating leading the life of a Buddhist Monk. However when we are spoilt for choice, stress creeps in since we are most of the time unable to decide on life’s choices say for example which channels to watch or what dress to wear or pick up. Simplifying your life always ensures you have few choices and it is easier to make those decisions. Try simplifying your life in one area to begin with say in your eating habits and then work your way towards other area. I have begun to simplify my life to a large extent but am still working towards a truly simple life. Try this one strategy if not anything else and you will be amazed with the positive impact it will have on your stress level.
Sometimes when our own plates are full this seems like biting on more than you can chew. On the contrary when you are compassionate and wilfully try to reach out to people and show that you do care there is a sense of calmness which will envelope you. However for this you need to do it with complete willingness and not hurry up on it. Even a small gesture of walking up to another person and checking on how they are doing will go a long way in creating a road map for helping others.
Exercise and Eating on time
Well this is something which is in your absolute control and if you are really committed it can go a long way in eliminating stress from all other areas of your life put together. I have noticed that many people who exercise and eat healthy feel less stressed. It is also proven that both these factors play a critical role in eliminating stress completely from your life.
The idea is not to give you one glove that fits all situations but some practical solutions which according to me have worked. Usually I tend to work on certain things and only when I am pretty convinced that it really does work do I pen the same in an article or share it with my coaching clients to turn around their life.
I do hope this article makes a difference in the way you are managing stress in your life. Do share insights from your side and would love to hear if you do agree or disagree with any of my thoughts.