Stress and anxiety attacks can be incredibly debilitating. They can take over your life and make you unable to do the most simple of things that other people take for-granted. Perhaps social events make you incredibly nervous, or maybe going to work fills you with dread.
It’s time to change your outlook and lower your stress and anxiety levels for good. It may seem impossible right now, but you can do it. You just need the right tools. Make some positive changes in your life and you could be on your way to a much less stressful life.
Take things a step at a time
If overcoming your stress seems like a huge challenge, try to think of it in smaller steps. You won’t get there overnight, but every small change you make that reduces your stress levels just a little bit, will help you on your way.
Get rid of bad coping mechanisms
What do you do when you’re faced with a stressful situation? Some ways in which we try to cope are really not good for us in the long term. It’s important to replace these bad coping mechanisms with more positive ones. For example, do you avoid social situations? Perhaps you make excuses when someone invites you to a party? Once you start avoiding these situations, it makes it even harder to go to the next one. Eventually people will just think you are rude and stop inviting you. Or perhaps you have an alcoholic drink to help you feel more comfortable. While this can work in the short term, it really isn’t advisable to rely on this method to conquer your stresses. If you’re having a glass of bubbly before your wedding to help with the pre-wedding jitters, or you like a glass of beer before a flight to soothe your nerves, then that’s pretty normal. However, if you find you are drinking regularly just to cope with everyday life, that is not normal and you need to nip this in the bud before it escalates and you become dependant on alcohol just to get through the day.
It can be easy to put your own well being behind that of your family or your work commitments. But you need help. If you are less stressed then you’ll perform better at your job and your family will be happier and more relaxed too. So take time to do those things that relax you. Soak in a hot bath, go to bed early and read a good book, have a massage or a spa day.
When you are feeling stressed, try not to dwell on it. Get busy and occupy your mind. Do you have a friend who always makes you laugh? Or even one who has so many problems they want to talk about it distracts you from your own? Give them a call. Or start a new hobby or a new project in the home.
Don’t worry about things that are out of your control
There are some things you have control of, and some that you just can’t. The world is full of ‘what ifs’. You may worry about what would happen to your children if you were to get sick or die. Perhaps you are scared you will lose your job and have no money. Identify your fears. Discuss them with your family. Come up with as much of a plan as you can. Have a thought about where you’d look for a new job, perhaps try and save up some backup emergency money. Discuss what you would do as a family if one member became sick, start a funeral plan. Once you have a plan in place for anything that concerns you, put it aside. It’s sorted now as much as it can be. Anything else is beyond your control.
Push yourself just a little bit
Sometimes you just have to put yourself out of your comfort zone. When you give something you fear a go, quite often the thought of it is much worse than the reality. Facing your fears can really give you a confidence boost. So book that appointment at the dentist or accept that invitation out. You might find that it does you the world of good. As we mentioned earlier, one step at a time is the way to go.
You’ll get there in the end
Understand that feeling of stress is natural. Most of us get stressed from time to time. It’s just that you feel stressed too often. You may never be entirely stress free, but everything you can do to reduce that stress is a step in the right direction.