Relaxed breathing can help you calm anxiety and fear, and put you into a more positive mental state. Anxiety and fear stiffen muscles, getting your body ready for fight or flight. But when there’s no real danger or threat present, anxiety and fear only hurt your physical and mental well being. How can you calm […]
What is stress?
Stress is your body’s response to an action that you want to get away from. That action can be caused by someone or something. For example, a bully or abusive person causes you stress. Your physical environment can be stressful if it’s a noisy workplace or full of smokers. Environment can even be stressful and dangerous, like in the case of the California fires. Sometimes, you can flee the situation or the problem. But sometimes you can’t. That’s when stress turns to burnout to depression.
How to release stress.
Identify the actual problem.
Is it really your coworker who is stressing you out, or is it your boss who refuses to put you in a different shift so you can avoid your coworker? Is the problem really work, or is it something deeper like a family matter? Once you identify what the real problem is, what’s causing you the most stress, then you can come up with an action plan.
Create an action plan.
Creating an action plan doesn’t need to be complicated. It can be as simple as talking to someone about the problem. Sometimes talk is enough to resolve the situation.
But if the stress is more layered, or you can’t really get away from the stress, or there’s no way to create change in a person or environment, then you need to take a more measured approach.
There are allies, or people, who can support you or give advice on how to manage or escape the stress. The best ones to contact are professional mental health workers. These people are skilled and trained in dealing with stress and burnout. Other allies can be co-workers, family members, neighbours, and friends. Seek out your allies.
Learn to say NO.
It’s not unusual to say NO. It’s not bad either to say NO. Saying no puts you back in control of yourself and the moment. It’s a skill that takes practice. You also need to know who you can say no to, because sometimes negative people won’t take no for an answer.
Talk about your problems.
Loved ones might not know or realize you’re stressed out. Everyone has issues, and your stress might not register on anyone’s radar. Find someone you can trust. Trust means the person is willing to listen to your whole story without cutting you off or making judgments.
Listen to advice.
It’s important to listen to good advice. Just because you don’t like hearing it, doesn’t mean the advice isn’t sound or the best way forward. If you’re unsure or don’t trust a person, get a second opinion. But don’t hunt around for opinions to match your own ideas. That’s just parroting yourself.
No one can eliminate stress from their life, or prevent stress from happening. Stress is part of the natural world, and part of our human interactions. The goal of learning to manage stress is to help you bounce back from problems and keep your wellness intact.
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