Finding ways to manage stress effectively is a daunting task, yet very well may be worth it when the alternative is going through a stressed life.And let’s face it – no one
And let’s face it – no one likes stress.
breaks down your mind, making you edgy and sucking away the life out of you.
You could claim that it’s like torture in a sense.
There are few benefits to stress, but it’s terrible for own body all the same.
As I elaborated in my article about social anxiety, your brain gives you the feeling of anxiety based on your feelings.
The “fight, flight or freeze” system knocks away any and all manner of unrelated thoughts and puts you into survival mode, something that you clearly don’t need in the 21st century.
And really, what does stress do? It focuses your mind on a single target, forcing you to act based on something akin to an obsession.
So it should come as no surprise that reduction in stress levels reduces your anxiety as well.
Seems fair, right?
This theory stands in line with my way of treating anxiety and depression – finding the cause of your condition and systematically eliminating it.
With all of that in mind, I wrote a list about 3 ways to manage stress effectively.
Keep in mind that these are just ways to manage it, not “eliminate” it. As there is no real way to just avoid stress altogether, so managing it is the next best thing we can do.
I will be excluding meditation, as it is a process all on its own, and general ways to deal with anxiety and fatigue, as they are solutions to anxiety, rather than for one of the causes of it.
Alright, so here are 3 ways to manage stress effectively:
1) Give yourself as much free time as you can
Nowadays people consider having free time as a sin
Or more specifically, having no free time as a sign of high-status.
Something that deserves some recognition at the very least.
It should come as no surprise that, when discussing ways to manage stress effectively, some social norms are to be broken.
All of those people that proclaim so proudly how they have this meeting, or how much their boss trusts them with all of those massive amounts of work know nothing.
lacking time is used by most to establish themselves as hardworking individuals, thus deserving respect.
But that’s a terrible idea, and I’ll tell you why in a moment, but here’s a quick story:
When I was in the military we were all about managing your time, and we applied different methods to achieve more with less, but we still were behind schedule despite all of that tight time-management.
Yet when put in a pinch our commanders cramped more in a few days than they did in entire weeks.
Why? Because they weren’t just saving time and then wasting it on other stuff, they were saving time and only focusing it on vital tasks.
The Pareto Principle states that 80% of the overall events is a result of 20% of the overall causes.
You got a lot of meetings, some of which are vitally important, some may give you little benefit and the others are just office bureaucracy.
Pardon my use of work-based examples, it’s just that a lot of stress-based issues come from work.
You end up doing the most important tasks, 80% of your work, in only a short amount of time, 20% of the effort you put in.
Then you proceed to waste your time on pointless meetings and just a bunch of hours of mind-numbing repetition of the same things over and over again and end up wasting 4 times as much time to get a fourth of the same result.
Sure, the work you put in will give you some benefit, which is the reason you will keep stressing over it, all the while convincing yourself that it isn’t a waste of time, but it’s just not worth it.
So instead of saying “yes” to all of these dumb meetings and extra-working-hours you should say “no” to everything that isn’t absolutely essential and get some proper rest.
Sure, you won’t get perfect results like you used to, but when it comes down to it the question that comes up is this: your career or your health?
Free time is a wonderful thing, and having free time for yourself is perfectly fine. Some people may give you looks, but you will know better, you will genuinely be a happier person.
That actually leads us to my second point
2) Avoid the people you don’t want to be like
‘You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with
Alright, so it’s no secret that our environment shapes us, but in case you would like me to prove it to you, here’s some research to back it up.
The people you surround yourself with are going to shape your thoughts and emotions for a while, be it your co-workers, friends, or even partners.
So why do you surround yourself with negative people? Why do you talk about work outside of the office?
Why interact with people that make you feel bad, just because you feel that you have to?
These are toxic relationships that you are far better off without, don’t be “social” with people that don’t deserve your time.
They bring you down, yet you feel… Obliged, to stick by them.
You got some nasty co-workers who do nothing but complaining all the time?
Don’t waste your time on them, keep interactions purely professional, the moment that they start whining about life just leave.
When you meet with people don’t talk about work, you are a whole person and as such, you should have your own interests, don’t bring your work into your resting time.
I can’t stress this enough, thinking about what you are yet to accomplish will do nothing more than to drive you mad, and the occasional quip from your recent conversation partner isn’t helping you either.
If you talk with negative people you will be negative, If you talk about work all the time work will always be in your head.
Negativity and constant thoughts about something don’t mix up together, yet they are the average make-up of some working-class citizens, be they your friends or colleague.
If that type of person is you partner… my sincere condolences, you may want to consider breaking up with them.
3) Have fun and rest
When you are in the wrong mindset (of someone who’s majorly stressed), you tend to take action out of sheer desperation, thinking that it will relieve your stress.
You will take action, and then you will think that your action wasn’t good enough, you drop into that 80/20 pattern that we discussed earlier.
Meaning that you take action impulsively and end up not satisfied with the end results since you always create scenarios inside your head on how you could have done better.
So let me suggest the opposite, and tell you to not concern yourself with those details.
No single project is ever going to be irreplaceable, so you shouldn’t focus all of your time and effort on one thing, you don’t have to take action all the time. Instead, you should get the most out of your free time and watch as your stress fades away.
Live a full life, rest properly, party hard and shove aside all of those bothersome thoughts aside.
They are only as real as you make them be, and you got all the time in the world to deal with your issues anyway, so why go mad over them right now?
Have fun, rest, and reconsider – the difference in your thought process will be shocking, to say the least.
Alright, so there you have it, 3 ways to manage stress effectively, just as promised.
These aren’t some magic solutions or wonderful words of comfort, these are habits that you are going to have to work at.
No, instead those are 3 ways to manage stress effectively and get your life back in the process, the way a simple change of perspective alters your entire life is truly a wonderful thing.
If you recall my story about the military’s time management you will come to see an interesting point – all of their ideas about managing time and getting results were tactics, short term solutions for an exciting problem, rather than strategies, long-term solutions for every problem that may come, including this one.
Needless to say, the latter is far more powerful than the former from a psychological viewpoint.
Tactics tend to fail, as some battles are won or lost based on circumstances and the like, yet a solid strategy is far likely to fail since it is not at all as circumstantial.
Alright, so while you go around and turn your life around for the better, here is a quick question I would love you to answer: “Do you have any co-workers that negatively affect your life? Do they, or anyone else, cause you stress?”
Make sure to answer in the comments below, I read and reply to every single one of them!
If you got any questions you would like to ask me directly feel free to email me, I am always available and I will reply to you as soon as I can.
Unless it’s hate/spam mail, no email shall be left unanswered!