Stress happens to all of us and we feel it more than ever due to the increasing demands of our family and work. Here are some things worth noting about stress:
- Women, particularly working mothers, appear to be bearing the brunt and struggle with work-life balance.
- Current global political and economic conditions cause many to worry.
- More than 80 percent of adults suffer from prolonged stress about money.
- 70 percent of adults are worried about health problems plaguing them or their loved ones.
Indeed, stress is a big-scale issue and it’s becoming more alarming due to a growing number of factors and stressors that young and old folks deal with today.
But perhaps the biggest source of stress for a lot of people is their job. The dynamics of a professional life can be a constant source of great pressure. There’s the task of navigating the highly competitive atmosphere at work on a daily basis. There’s the need to perform beyond your capacities as you climb the corporate ladder. Even dealing with coworkers is known to trigger anxiety, particularly for those who have a strong need to belong or gain acceptance from their peers.
If you often find yourself on the bad side of the stress coin – you know with the tense muscles, knots in your stomach, and headaches that pop up ever so often – you need to take action now. It’s important to learn the effective ways to diminish the negative impact of stress so your health and overall life quality do not suffer.
What You Can Do
You want to take deep breaths and just calm yourself down. When situations are stressful, wellness experts say, proper breathing is what most people tend to forget to do. It’s important to slow down your heart rate and prevent stress hormones from taking over your system so you can think more rationally.
2. Aim for a more balanced perspective.
Say, your boss drove you to the edge with his demands and unprofessional behavior that you almost quit your job right there and then. Perhaps try to think about his big picture too – maybe his family or the business is going through a difficult time – this would explain why he’s been overly critical lately. A personal coach may identify this as defusing tension through empathy.
3. Seek help.
Reach out to someone who can give you the tools and support you need to prevent stress from beating you down. Find a personal coach that can help you analyze the cycle of your stress and work with you to identify smart solutions to take when anxiety, fear and worry are diminishing your joy and productivity. One of the best benefits of having a life coach is you get an expert who can guide you effectively in tackling stressors so you can heal well and move on after a particularly difficult period in your life.
4. Make some helpful lifestyle changes.
Making a commitment to lead a more balanced lifestyle is a must especially if your health has suffered due to the conflicts you have been facing. You may want to find time for exercise; this will help burn nervous energy and even improve the quality of your sleep.
Eating healthier is also essential if you’re aiming to boost your physical and mental health. Try to incorporate more stress-buster ingredients into your meals and snacks – fatty fish rich in omega 3s, dark chocolate, walnuts, oatmeal, skim milk, and herbal teas (chamomile) are known to reverse stress symptoms.
5. Make meditation a part of your daily routine.
Find time to free your mind of worries and just focus on positive things. This will help you maintain mental clarity even when life’s rather chaotic. A number of highly successful people who are frequently exposed to various stressors practice meditation because they find it a useful life management tool. If you’re just starting out, five to 10 minutes a day can already bring much-needed positive energy and change.
6. Treat yourself like a king/queen.
Congratulate yourself for making it through and treat yourself kindly. Go on a vacation to unwind or spend quality time with loved ones. After a stressful period, rewarding yourself will surely help you heal.
Stress is a part of life; the important thing you have to remember is you must not let it hold you down. Learn how to bounce back from it and you will find yourself stronger and better than ever before.
Salma El-Shurafa is an experienced Executive Coach and founder of The Pathway Project. She is a Professional Certified Coach by the International Coaching Federation (ICF), a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach from The Coaches Training Institute (CTI) and a graduate of CTI’s Co-Active Leadership program.