The renowned Doctor James C. Dobson once famously said that “there are very few certainties that touch us all in this mortal experience, but one of the absolutes is that we all experience hardship and stress at some point.” While one may not be able to avoid stress altogether, handling it is up to us. You have one of two options, either control the stress or let it control you.
Stress affects each individual in a different way so we can’t say that there is a magic pill or solution that will help you manage it. And the best way to get a grip on stress and manage it like a pro is by experimenting with several things so as to determine which one is right for you. By pinpointing and adopting positive and healthy ways of dealing with this issue, you’ll be able to improve your well-being more than you might think.
We hear it on the street, in the office, at home “We live in a stressful world”. Constantly, each and every one of us hears about this issue in different contexts. And people aren’t afraid to admit when they feel under tremendous pressure and stress. Yet, lots of individuals still do not perceive stress as a serious issue. And they should, if you consider the negative impact it has on your body, mind and overall well-being.
And while every one of us needs a small degree of stress in our lives, an ongoing state of stress could potentially have serious consequences for our health. Stress is a mental condition. Its effects on the body are as follows: tremors, swings in appetite, fatigue, nausea, migraines and even forgetfulness. And while the above-mentioned effects are bad enough, stress can cause even more serious issues such as depression, heart disease, gastrointestinal problems, accelerated aging or premature death.
And for entrepreneurs and business owners, ignoring stress is not exactly an easy task. Still, hiding its presence is far more difficult. And while a small and “healthy” degree of stress is going to help you gather enough energy to accomplish a certain task, too much of it can incapacitate you altogether.
If you read so far, it means that you want to find out how to cope with stress, so here are some things you should try that may help you deal with stress:
1. First of all, you need to exercise on a regular basis. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, the moment stress starts to affect your brain with its many nerve connections, your entire body will also feel its impact. Thus, it is safe to say that if your body feels great, so does your mind. Therefore, make sure to make a point out of exercising or doing any other physical activity to produce endorphins. According to Everyday Health, endorphins are morphine-like chemicals produced by the body that help diminish pain while triggering positive feelings. They’re sometimes referred to as the brain’s “feel-good” chemicals, and are the body’s natural painkillers, which in turn reduce stress.
2. Although we live in an overly-medicated society, where tons of individuals pop a pill for everything, lots of people affected by stress have no chance but to medicate for their well-being. There are countless over-the-counter pills that can help you sleep, but if you see that when you wake up feeling either anxious or tense, you should probably see your doctor and ask him to prescribe some medications. Lots of people state that Prozac has worked for them; still there are some natural supplements you should also consider like chamomile or St. John’s Wort. However, remember that medications will not make the stress problem go away, but they will still help you manage your emotions better during tough times.
3. Consider taking up yoga or meditation. Short or long deep relaxation sessions throughout your day help lower stress levels, alleviate pain and stress symptoms. Enable your mind to relax, unwind and focus on other things than your personal issues. Breathing is a huge part of meditation and it helps tremendously when dealing with stress. It’s quite common that when people feel stressed, they “forget” to breathe. For example, if you stopped now, you could see that your muscles are tight and your breathing is shallow. You could try slowing down your breathing and taking as much air as possible in your lungs. Trust me, it makes a huge difference on how your body will respond to stress.
Related: Meditation for Entrepreneurs
4. Consider the big picture. Assess each stressful situation by putting things into perspective, constantly asking yourself how important is that particular issue and whether it will matter in the future. If the answer is a resounding no, it’s pretty safe to say that you shouldn’t worry your mind and spend the time and energy to think about it. Believe it or not, stress doesn’t have to be a part of your life. Managing stress is all about knowing when to take control and constantly reminding you that you are the one determining how stress will affect you.
5. Cultivate gratitude. Robert Emmons, a university professor expert in gratitude states found that “Gratitude research is beginning to suggest that feelings of thankfulness have tremendous positive value in helping people cope with daily problems, especially stress”. We all have the ability and opportunity to develop an “attitude of gratitude”: simply take a few minutes every day to focus on all that you have and make you happy – rather than complain about all the things you want, but don’t have.