Does every little thing get you down? Are you starting to feel that you might have been born stressed? It’s a horrible feeling when your heart starts to race, you find it difficult to concentrate and your muscles become wound up in painful knots. You may feel frustrated and helpless, feeling that life is a myriad of problems over which you have no control. But fear not, stress may make you feel helpless but you simply need to plan a ‘Get Stress Fit Campaign.’
Think of a Get Stress Fit program akin to a physical fitness program. You work hard to develop greater fitness – in this case, develop an increased resistance to those external pressures. You may be surprised to know that there is a great deal that you can do to combat those external pressures and demands and you will start feeling much less stressed as a result. Consistent effort is the key and a steely determination to face difficult situations head on.
This might sound alarmingly easy but in fact; the difficulty can be eradicating the ‘head in the sand’ perspective which many people who feel weary of the day to day pressures often adhere to. It may actually seem easier to ignore the pressures and thereby not face them but in the long term, this approach simply increases the stress that you experience.
So what can you do to avoid experiencing stress fatigue and those nasty symptoms? First of all, why not start with a stress inventory?
This might seem like taking a business approach but if you write down all of the areas which make you feel under pressure and calculate them as a whole, you will probably be shocked by the amount of stress that you feel each and every day. Stress, when left unchecked is dangerous. Short-term stress can be healthy providing the cause is under control but if the cause continues for an extensive period of time, your symptoms are likely to increase too.
A stress inventory may reveal some worrying factors about your life. Work-place stress can be rife; a relationship problem may raise your blood pressure, money concerns can be terrifying. Open your mind and face up to the reality of your situation and you may find that the problems are much more easily rectifiable than you may initially think. Often, the way that we think is the instigator for the stress. Of course reality is stressful but have you ever considered why some people experience fewer hardships than others? Your mindset will play a big part in your Get Stress Fit Campaign.
Facing up to problems open up potential solutions. It’s hard, it’s scary but when you face your demons, you will feel an increased confidence, an innate sense of pride and a massive relief and freedom from some of those stressors.
Learn to relax. You might think that you relax when you watch TV or listen to music, but do you really let yourself go? When you lie down to sleep, do your muscles scream out with tension especially around your neck and shoulders? Learning to progressively relax takes time. Practice it every day. Lie down, inhale and exhale slowly and as you calm your body, imagine that you are letting go of tension every single time that you breathe out. You can have ‘cue’ words that help you to instantly relax muscles or to blot out any bombardment of insignificant thoughts. It can be simple as using the word ‘relax’.
Become mindful in your everyday life. This means focusing and observing the way you act, think and feel. It’s not about judging yourself but understanding areas that may need some additional work. Watch with curiosity and without responding.
Some key areas to work on:
- Regularly practice meditation, awareness and relaxation techniques
- Change how you respond to stress
- Make an action plan so that you can combat those stress triggers
- Have supportive relationships
- Make sure you have enough sleep and exercise.
These are important first steps in learning to not simply control your stress but to actively alleviate most of it. It’s vital that you consider your life in an analytical manner and identify the worst areas of stress and to learn how to dilute the negative effects as much as possible.
You can never avoid stress completely but you can embark upon your own Get Stress Fit Campaign.
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