Stressed out? Here are some tips from life strategist Simonne Lee
Feeling stressed, overwhelmed and not getting enough sleep? Welcome to the 21st century! Trying to avoid stress is like trying to avoid traffic in peak hour — it’s just not possible … or is it?
We usually associate feeling stressed with a negative situation; however, it’s just not negative experiences that make you feel overwhelmed. Stress is usually a build-up of constant high demands, good or bad. It’s this constant flow of high demands that begins to tip you over that very fine line. What was once a great adrenaline rush now starts to drain you and impacts your daily life.
Stress occurs when we’re not managing ourselves emotionally, physically or psychologically. It is a constant juggle maintaining a balance between these elements as they are the foundation pillars that keep us going and keep us strong. If one of these pillars starts to slip or starts to feel the pressure, then the other two will compensate for the slip. This allows you to push past the demands being placed on you. This is where stress begins.
Now don’t get me wrong, stress, just like nerves, isn’t necessarily a bad thing — it’s about how you manage it.
Now don’t get me wrong, stress, just like nerves, isn’t necessarily a bad thing — it’s about how you manage it. A little stress simply means you’re out of your comfort zone and, as my clients always hear me say, being out of your comfort zone is a good thing; we just need to learn the skills to manage it. When you’re finding yourself constantly out of your comfort zone day to day and the way you manage your stress isn’t working anymore, then it’s time to shake things up and try some new methods. Think of it like exercise; sometimes doing the same exercises aren’t giving you the results you want anymore, so you try something different.
Stress left to its own devices will only increase the sense of being overwhelmed. Impacting on your sleep, metabolism, motivation, socialising etc. The eventual result is you reach the tipping point of anxiety and that is not the direction you want to move towards.
So how do you rediscover your balance again? Let’s look at a few ways to keep stress at bay:
- Stamp your feet on the ground (like a three-year-old would when not getting their way). By stamping your feet, you send your energy into the ground, leaving you feeling more grounded — this is often called “earthing”. It stops all that static energy running through you.
- Stand and place your hands on your hips and breathe deeply for at least 60 seconds. Hands on hips is a power stance that rewires the brain into an ‘I can’ mode instead of ‘can I?’ mode. Doing this daily can build your confidence levels.
- Get a piece of paper and draw a line vertically and horizontally in the middle so you have four sections. Then head each section with: Me, Work, Home/Family, Friends. Write out your to-do list for each one, then highlight what needs to be addressed (you want to map out your priorities). Decide what you’re prepared to do AND what you’re prepared to let go of or request someone else to do.
- Meditate — this is the most consistent way to really manage stress levels regularly. Five to 10 minutes a day (or every other day) changes your world from the inside out.
So, instead of letting stress take over your life, you can have the opportunity to begin to understand it — feeling stressed some of the time is fine and simply means your just stepping out of your comfort zone, which stretches you to grow. As for peak-hour traffic and its frustrations, you have the chance to change old habits and utilise that time well so you can actually look forward to a bit of traffic congestion.
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