Avoiding Stress Overload
These are some things you can do to avoid stress overload:
Learn to tell when you have too much stress
Pay attention to the signs of stress in your body. Look for signals like clammy hands, knots in your stomach, headaches, or tension in your neck and shoulders. When you know that you are being stressed, you can try to keep it from piling up. You will learn when you need to "unwind" after stressful times.
List the things that cause you stress and get rid of the ones you can
When you figure out what causes you stress, you are taking a step toward gaining control of your life. Divide your list of stress producers into two groups: those you cannot change and those you can. Part of dealing with stress is realizing that there are some things you cannot control. Once you are able to accept this, you will be free to focus on the things you can change.
Take steps to avoid the minor hassles that cause stress
For instance, leave earlier for work to avoid rush hour traffic. Hang your keys on a special hook so they do not get lost in the house. When you have many errands, do the most important ones first. Accept that some of them may have to wait for another day. When you can plan your major life changes, try to do them one at a time. Decide what you can and cannot control and then take life's demands one step at a time.
Keep your mind and body healthy and fit
Healthy habits can make it easier for you to deal with stress. Take care of yourself by getting enough sleep, eating a good diet, and exercising. The better you feel, the better you will be able to handle stress.
Learn ways to relax
No matter what you do, you will have some stress. You have to learn to balance the stress with relaxation. One way is with relaxation exercises. The goal is not to be relaxed all of the time. You just want to be able to lower your stress before it gets too high. Both your mind and body react to stress, and they affect each other. Ways to manage stress can be physical or mental. Since no one way is the best, pick the ones that fit most easily into your life. You may need to try out several ideas to find what works best for you.
Think about your outlook on life
Many people believe that a positive outlook on life is key to reducing stress. With a positive outlook, a change is viewed as a chance for growth. A demand is welcomed as a challenge to be met. A sense of humor and knowing how to laugh at yourself are parts of a positive outlook. Since laughter is a sure way to get rid of tension, make time for fun. Also give yourself time for doing nothing at all. Even though our society values being productive, time off can be just as important to your well-being.
To lower your stress, you may need to learn new ways to relate to other people. Perhaps other people try to control you and you need to learn to say no. Maybe you need to learn to ask others for help. Asking others to help can do more than just reduce your load. It can be the start of a sharing network between family, friends, and co-workers.