Stress is that very thing that keeps you up all night worrying. How often do you hear people around you saying “I am so stressed”. This statement can mean so many different things to each and every one of us.
We all get stressed out, but by learning more about it will help you deal with it better. Who wouldn’t want that? Let's elaborate a bit so you can see where you fit in.
In order to handle your stress, you need to first identify where it is coming from and why it is stressing you out so much. Then you need to establish how and in which way it is affecting you. This is the first step to containing stress so that it doesn’t spill over into the rest of your life where it will begin to affect and influence everything else.
It is also very important to understand that ‘good’ stress does exist in our lives. These drive and motivate us to be better at being better, but once again you need to identify these so that you are empowered by the stress you are feeling and can get the job at hand done.
So once you have identified your stress, how do you handle it? First, you need to recognize just how vulnerable you are to stressful situations and then determine how you experience that stress.
Physical symptoms: these usually come in the form of headaches, stomach aches, sleep problems, hypertension, etc.
Emotional symptoms: these tend to bring on feelings of fear, anxiety, tension, anger, irritation, etc.
Behavioral symptoms: where you find yourself withdrawing from others and you start lashing out because you are feeling frustrated, irritated, etc.
Cognitive symptoms: how and what you are thinking. So this could be irrational thoughts such as “I am no good at this”, “I’m a loser”, “I can’t manage this”.
Here are some examples of how stress might be affecting you:
Being stressed sure takes a toll on your performance, especially at work and with day to day activities that need attention. It can also lead you to either isolate yourself from others, or push you in the exact opposite direction where you are talking too much - almost nervously. The first signs of being overstressed might be you noticing that your relationship with others seems to be strained and there is a breakdown in communication. You might have constant headaches, indigestion, fatigue or disrupted sleep.
There are many more signs, this is just the tip of the iceberg. What is more important now is to give you a few tips on how to deal with your stress and hopefully change your reaction to it. It is in your control to do this. The way you acknowledge, approach and deal with a situation will tell you a lot about your stress tolerance levels. It can be linked back directly to your self-esteem, self-resilience and self-belief.
Firstly try not to put too many expectations on others and life in general, because disappointments lead to far more stress than you realise.
It's important to recognise the common causes of stress at work so that you can take steps to reduce stress levels where possible. Here are some tips: