It seems like stress is trendy. You hear it everywhere and by everyone, even kids talk about stress nowadays… “I’m stressed… Don’t stress me out …This is stressing,” … And all the conjugations of the verb and in all pronouns available.
Are You Feeling Stressed?
You are not the only one! According to the Brain Research Institute, over 70% of the US population reports having regular symptoms associated with stress.
What is STRESS anyway?
According to the dictionary, stress “is a feeling of strain and pressure.”
However, stress is pretty much a subjective experience. What stresses someone may not stress another one. Taking that into consideration, you must realize that stress is perceived. If you interpret something or someone to be threatening, you may allow yourself to feel stressed. There are many variables involved in stress like your personal history, your personality type, your resources, your support system, your own self-perceptions and many more.
How to Approach Stress?
There are a few key starting points to consider when dealing with stress. Some key factors are self-evaluation, assessment of the situation and a strategy.
- Stop! Take a moment to take a few deep breaths in order to fully assess yourself. How do you honestly feel? Nervous, sad, immobilized, angry? Stay there and feel the emotion. This will allow you to get in touch with your senses and know exactly where you are.
- Evaluate the situation: Is there anything that you can do about it? Do you have any control over it? If you do not, you must come to your senses and accept it. I am not saying that you should accept or agree with a “bad” situation. Yet, you must accept your powerlessness over it. When you have no control over a situation, you have to set coping mechanisms in order to help you deal with it.
- On the other hand, if there is something you can do about “a stressful situation,” it’s time to device a plan. The only way to change things is by creating a shift. When ready, start with a cold head… Brain storm and start problem-solving.
You have NO Control over a Stressful Situation? Try these Coping Mechanisms
- Reframe: View and think about the situation in a different way… Try to consider things that you can learn from the event and how you can use it to grow. It is not an easy habit but a great alternative, which gets easier with practice. Remember, your emotions are the result of your perception and thoughts.
- Pray or Meditate: These practices can center you and calm you down.
- Distract Yourself: Do something to divert yourself from the issue at hand. It can provide immediate relief, yet know it is temporary.
- Express your Emotions: Talk to someone close, fully expressing how you feel. If needed, find a therapist to help you deal with the situation and your emotions.
- Write: Journal what you are going through… It can be a cathartic experience.
- Be Thankful: Note and write all the things for which you can be grateful for …It can help put things on perspective.
- Get Social: Reach out to your social network for support. Furthermore join a group, associating with people who had or have similar experiences can help a lot.
- Try more ways to Cope with Stress Adequately
Avoid Acting Out your Emotions:
Overeating, going on shopping sprees, using drugs and alcohol to escape your situation only relieve you temporarily… In the long run, these bad habits will create more problems for you and even your loved ones.
The following are two quotes from Dr. Wayne Dyer that exemplify the relationship of stress and perception:
“There is no stress in the world, only people thinking stressful thoughts”
“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change”
Stress is a matter of Perception: Your View depends on the Lens that you put on!
To a Healthier Fitter You,
The Fitness Wellness Mentor