Have you ever noticed that some people can get stressed out over the slightest thing, whilst other people can seem to thrive in really high pressure environments?
Yet we still hear people say that they were in a stressful job, or a stressful situation.
Now don’t get me wrong, certain circumstances and issues can be difficult to deal with, but it’s how we deal with them that either gives us stress or doesn’t.
One of the common causes of stress is around control issues.
If you are trying to manage and control every aspect of a situation, and feel responsible for all the outcomes and how it will effect all parties involved you will undoubtedly be feeling the stress. One of the biggest lessons we all have to learn if we want to eliminate stress from our lives, is that we have little, if any, control over what happens.
Let me say that again – we have little, if any, control over what happens.
A lot of people are going to disagree with that statement. so let me add a little more to it.
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t prepare/train/practice – of course you should, that’s how you get good at things.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t try to avoid dangerous risks – of course you should, if you want to live a long and healthy life.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t plan – of course you should, otherwise you will be met by unexpected problems at every turn.
What I’m saying is, after you’ve practised, planned and assessed your risks, you have to let go.
There is always a certain amount of rolling with the punches, things will go wrong and people will be unpredictable – and that’s OK.
If you’re someone who feels a lot of stress – here are a couple of tips which may help you to manage it better.
1. Plan, prepare, practice.
Get yourself ready for what ever the situation is that you are stressed about.
Being stressed and uptight will not help you to make good decisions. Take a minute or two to breathe – slowly and steadily, making sure your out breath is always longer than your in breath. Some people like to count to 7 on each in breath and count to 11 on each out breath – personally I prefer to breathe in as normal and then blow the air out slowly through pursed lips to control my breathing. This simple act changes your body chemistry and allows you to feel calmer and more relaxed.
3. Ask yourself – What is the worst that could happen?
Unless you are in very unusual circumstances the situation you are in will not be life and death. If something goes wrong – so what? It may not be ideal, but it’s probably not worth giving yourself a heart attack over! You know what -even if it is life and death, you can still remind yourself that you are doing the best you can – and nobody can ask more of you than that.
4. Imagine it’s a year from now – do you still care about whatever it is you are stressing over?
If the answer is no, it’s probably not worth worrying about now either.
Stress is a killer – avoid it where you can. If you struggle with this on your own, consider seeking some help – it’s definitely worth it!