Love it or hate it, we all experience this thing in life called stress.
There’s always something to stress about.
Relationships, money, our jobs…making sure your plant, Geoffrey, get’s enough water!
(Okay, that last one is just me)
But seriously though, we all know how it feels to be stressed.
And, we’ll do our damnedest to avoid it!
Video games, nights out and smartphones are just a few of the myriad of distractions we use to escape.
But, they rarely help.
A 2017 study found that 80% of adults regularly felt stressed at work and 10% were stressed all of the time.
Healthy? Not so much…
Stress is used by our bodies to cope with challenges; it gives us the extra motivation, strength and mental alertness we need to conquer our foes be they physical, mental or emotional.
In biology, It’s called the ‘fight or flight response’, kicking in when a creature needs to battle or escape as quickly as it can.
The problem that we face in society is that if we’re stressed all the time, then our bodies never get a chance to stop and re-charge.
All that built-up tension needs to go somewhere and it comes out in some pretty unpleasant of ways:
- Acne breakouts
- Chronic Pain
- Changes in libido
- Digestive issues
- Appetite changes
- Rapid heartbeat
- Excessive Sweating
So, how do we get rid of stress?
The short answer is we don’t.
Phase 1: Choose a healthy stress
The very presence of stress isn’t something we can control.
But we can control what we get stressed about.
Most people distance themselves from the idea of conflict.
But, ironically, all this does is create a mental vacuum that pulls every problem in their direction.
Even the most trivial things can quickly become massive issues.
Ever cried over spilt milk?
By actively choosing what your problem is, you’ll become empowered by it.
Phase 2: Cast aside distractions
For many of us, we’re so caught up in distractions that we never get round to working on our big goal.
And the reason is pretty obvious…
It’s much easier to be a spectator in someone else’s story than to actually be the hero yourself.
In seconds, we can open our favourite social networking app, scroll past hundreds of stories and live vicariously.
Is it a wonder most of us take the easy option and skip our own challenges?
This constant supply of dopamine causes us to care less about the healthy goals we’ve set ourselves and more about short-term thrills.
Consequently, we start experiencing a see-saw effect.
We’ll be riding a massive dopamine high one moment, but the second we realise that there was no substance to what we’re happy about, it all comes plummeting back down to the ground and overwhelm, sadness and anxiety all come to the surface.
This rollercoaster ride is hard to get leave, but for the long-term joy that you’ll receive as a bi-product, it’s completely worth it.
Phase 3: Respond to your chosen stress pro-actively
The final component to conquering stress is to decide how you are going to respond when it arises.
You have the choice to accept stress into your life and actively work on it or reject it and make a decision not to let it bother you.
As a result, you’ll train your brain to be able to choose what bothers you rather than being at the mercy of the world.
Thank you for reading this article. I hope it’s helped you.
If you know someone who might find it useful, please share it with them.