Stress Management: A Guide to Dealing With Stress

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Stress Management: A Guide to Dealing With Stress

Bella Nani - Stress Managment

With the holidays rapidly approaching we know that it is not always easy to manage stress.  But, did you know that there are ways to control your stress so that the stress does not control you?  It’s true and it is easier than you may think!  In fact, knowing that you are in the driver seat is the first step to regaining control over your stress.  Stress management is all about taking back that control.  You must also do the work in your lifestyle, your thoughts, your emotions and the way you deal with your problems but just know that no matter how bad it seems, there are ways to let go of the stress and get back to your regularly scheduled life!

Why Should You Manage Your Stress?

When you live in high levels of constant stress you are putting your entire well being at risk.  Stress will eat away at your emotional equilibrium and your physical sense of well being.  Stress will cloud your ability to think clearly, function normally and otherwise enjoy your life.

With effective stress management techniques you can break the hold that stress has over your life.  You will find that when you learn these things you are happier, healthier and more productive.  With the ultimate goal being a life that is lived in balance, you will need to put time and effort into meeting the challenges ahead as you learn to balance your work, relaxation, family and time for fun.  But the rewards you will reap from learning just a few of these techniques to manage your stress are much greater than you can imagine.  It is important to note that stress management is not one size fits all and often it is a combination of stress management techniques that works for each individual.  Here are 4 awesome tips to get you started on a path to less stress!

1) Identify the Source of Stress

All good stress management plans start with the identification of what is causing your stress.  This is not always obvious or straightforward as it sounds.  It is very easy to overlook how your thoughts, feelings and behaviors can contribute to your stress levels.  This can intertwine with obvious causes such as changing jobs, moving, or chronic pain and cause you to become confused or even feeling lost and hopeless.  To help you identify the actual source of your stress here are a few things that you can look at:

  • Do you find that you tell yourself and others that the stress is “just temporary” even though you can’t remember your last break?
  • Do you think that stress is just a normal part of everyday life or part of your personality?
  • Do you place the blame for your stress on outside events or people?

Until you accept responsibility for your stress it will remain outside of your control.

2) Replace Your Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms

Close your eyes and envision how you currently cope with your stress level.  Is what you see a healthy way to manage your stress or is it unhealthy?  We are sure that we do not have to outline what an unhealthy coping mechanism is but if you are unsure, these can look like: smoking, using pills or drugs, drinking in excess, withdrawal from friends/family, binge eating, procrastination, sleeping too much and many others.

If the way you manage your stress is not actually contributing to your greater good both emotionally or physically then it is time to find some new habits.  There is no secret formula to this and what works for one person may not work for you.  Focus on what makes you feel calm and helps you regain control.

3) Practice the 4 A’s

Stress is an automatic response from the nervous system.  There are predictable stressors such as meeting with your boss or the commute to work and there are unpredictable stressors you can control how you react to the situation.  When deciding how to handle a situation you can call on the 4 A’s: Avoid, Alter, Adapt or Accept.

Avoid

This is fairly simple, avoid unnecessary stress.  Learn how to say “no”.  Only you know what your limits are and only you can say “no” when you have too much going on in your life.  Avoid people who stress you out.  If you see Susan from accounting and she just stresses you out every time you see her then limit your exposure to her.  You do not owe her your friendship.  You do however, need to remain civil when you do see her in the office!  Control your environment.  If watching Law and Order is just too much for you and it makes you worry about all of the the could be scenarios of living in the city then avoid that show.  You do not have to submit yourself to experiencing things that cause you stress.  Re-evaluate your to-do list.  We value a good checklist of things that you want to get done but maybe your have too long of a list.  Learn how to prioritize!

Alter

If a stressful situation cannot be avoided, learn how to alter it!  This may require you to change how you communicate or how you operate in these situations but ultimately, aren’t you looking to change?!  Express yourself before you wreck yourself.  If someone or something is bothering you, do not let it put you in the red zone of stress.  Express it as kindly as you can so that you can deal with it.  Be willing to compromise.  If you are asking someone to change their behavior, be ready to do the same.  Sometimes you have to give a little before you will get anything in return.  Create balance in your schedule.    All work and no play makes you a dull boy (or girl)!  Find that balance between work and family and many other areas of your life.

Adapt

If your stressor cannot be changed then change yourself.  Reframe problems.  Learn how to look at what is stressing you out in a different light.  Don’t see just the negative, seek the positive.  Look at the big picture.  Take perspective, is what is stressing you out just a tiny fraction of the sum of all the parts.  Ask yourself if it will still matter in a month.  If your answer is no then focus your energy and time elsewhere.  Adjust your standards.  Stop striving for perfection.  You will be destined for failure is perfection is the only thing you value.  Learn how to be okay with good enough!  Be grateful.  When stress is high, take a moment to reflect on what is good.  Positivity will keep everything in perspective.

Accept

Some stress is just unavoidable.  While acceptance is hard, in the long run, it is easier to deal with than trying to rally against a situation that you just cannot change.  Don’t try to control the uncontrollable.  There is so much in life that you just cannot control so stop wasting your time trying to control it all.  Look for the upside.  When something seems big and scary, look for that silver lining.  Find opportunities for personal growth.  Own your part in it and learn how to change it in the future.  Learn to forgive.  We live in an imperfect world with imperfect people.  When you let go of anger you free yourself from negative energy.  Share your feelings.   By expressing how you feel you will find release.  Talk to a trusted friend or find a therapist but get out what is making you feel terrible!

4)  Start Moving!

When you are stressed the last thing you want to do is take a walk but this is actually the BEST thing you can do for yourself!  Physical activity has been proven to be an amazing stress reliever.  A little bit of exercise will release those feel good hormones called endorphins.  It is usually recommended that you get at least 30 minutes of exercise and to build up your fitness level gradually.  You don’t have to buy a gym membership to start either.  Start small with something like walking the dog or taking the stairs instead of the elevator.  It’s really that easy!

Of course we would be remiss if we didn’t mention that you can also come in and have a little “ME” time with us at Bella Nani!  A simple manicure or an luxurious massage can always be arranged and we can pretty much guarantee that while you are in our chair on on our table, you will not have a care in the world!  Why would you wait, contact us today to schedule your appointment!!

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