Just when it looks like you have finally reached your maximum threshold for stress, there is something else you can now stress out about–stress. Yes, that is right, you can indeed stress about being stressed, and this “double stress” could possibly be more dangerous for your health. A 2013 article by The Atlantic details a study from the European Heart Journal which found that those who thought stress had an influence on their health had more health problems years later than those who were not as “stressed about stress.” As National Stress-Awareness Month approaches in April, get into the spirit by following these tips. No stress, though.
1. Make a list of your stressors.
It might be helpful for you to combat stress from stress by writing down everything that is stressing you out. While looking at a long list might not make you feel better initially, you can take comfort in knowing that as soon as you conquer a specific problem, you can cross it off. On the other hand, realizing that you only have a short list might take away some of the burden. The Mayo Clinic also recommends discovering your stress triggers so you can look to avoid them.
2. Organize, organize, organize.
The less you have to worry about being out of place, the less you have to stress about. Try organizing your room, your car, or your desk. Get rid of extra clutter and put all of the important things you need together in one place for easy access. Sometimes just rearranging all of your stuff will allow you to see things from a new, better perspective.
3. Look for the positives in your stress list.
Maybe you have a lot going on at work right now, and you are really not looking forward to the amount of time and effort you will have to put into it. Instead of looking at the negatives, try to think about the good that could come from the tasks you have to do. That big idea you are stressing about might just get you a raise or a promotion after you present it to your boss, and a little extra money could certainly help to cancel out some of your other possible stressors. Reforming thinking patterns can be difficult, but you can try some of Mind Tools’ positive thinking exercises here to get an idea.
4. Cut out negative things in your life.
Whether it is food, habits, or people, make sure to reevaluate their place in your life and replace them with positive alternatives. Do not do anything drastic, though–that might just make things worse.
5. Time management.
Have you ever created a monthly budget? Try switching it into a daily or weekly time budget to see how many hours you actually spend on an activity versus how many hours you do in reality. This insight will give you a better handle on refocusing your time if need be.
6. Remind yourself that you are a good person.
You deserve the best, but it will most likely take a lot of work and a lot of stress to get there. Repeat important words, phrases, or anything that makes you feel better out loud or in your head when you are feeling the most stressed. Prolific Living has 100 affirmations for a variety of situations, so test some out and see how you feel after a couple of repetitions.
Stress is tough, but you do not have to stress out about it. Here’s to a stress-free April!