Do you feel completely overwhelmed? You don’t know where to start and how to calm down? Don’t worry. This article helps you to gain back emotional control. Manage stress now – don’t wait!
My big stress problem
Let me tell you quickly my personal experience.
Just two years ago I was a different person. Why? I was super stressed and moody. My 40 hour work week made me unhappy. At the weekend I was working for the startup of my boyfriend. Even so, I loved it, I ended up completely overwhelmed and extremely tired.
To survive an average work day, I was drinking up to four cups of coffee and I consumed a lot of sweets to feel a bit more happy and less bored at my desk.
I had no stable evening routine and even went to a doctor because of my insomnia. Hard to believe, right?
What the doctor said
The doctor highly recommended that I follow a relaxed evening routine (surprise, surprise!), consume as much sunlight during the day as possible and that I drink less or no coffee.
Additionally, she strongly advised not to do a workout in the evening. Usually, I was going to gym around 8 pm.
My lifestyle transformation
As you may know, I was quitting my 9 to 5 job in 2015 – thanks to my savings – to spend three months in China with my brother.
In China I not only developed healthy routines, I also strongly followed new passions and hobbies.
I drank almost no coffee anymore. Additionally, I added a lot of exercise. My brother and me established a student fitness group to workout as a team and keep each other motivated.
In the evenings I used to walk for around one hour and I started with yoga – and, no surprise, I was able to manage my stress within a pretty short period of time.
Why long-term stress is dangerous
Stress isn’t only lowering your life quality, it can also lead to serious health problems if you don’t take care of it.
So, how do YOU know that you’re stressed? Actually, there are dozens of symptoms. But I list here the most common ones:
Typical stress symptoms
- Back pain
- Grinding teeth
- Upset stomach
- Mood swings
- Panic attacks
- Concentration problems
- Insomnia, constant tiredness
- Feeling overloaded or overwhelmed
- Frequent colds, infections, herpes sores
- Increased smoking, alcohol or drug use
- Excessive gambling or impulse shopping
Unfortunately, many people get more or less “used” to their insomnia, weak immune system, back pain, stomach and bowel issues or skin problems (psoriasis, neurodermatitis, etc.) – they try to fix the symptoms only.
Please be aware: Chronic stress can lead to a burnout, autoimmune diseases, depression, anxiety, heart attacks or even cancer! Do you really want to risk it? You have only one body. You simply can’t buy another one.
Identify your stress triggers
There are many different causes for stress. For example:
- Work overload + Job worries
- Family + Relationships
- Financial Situation
- Major life changes
- Health Condition
In case you have a difficult financial situation, read my article HOW TO SAVE MONEY FOR FINANCIAL FREEDOM.
Start a journal
Write down your daily negative thoughts to identify your common stressful moments. This will help you to get fully aware of your problem.
Once you are aware of your biggest stress factor, focus on it. If you take action, you will gain back control. And this will reduce your stress.
4 Quick tips for stress management
We all face different problems and challenges. And we all respond in different ways. It depends for example on your personality, on your experience or on your social support. But most importantly it depends on your strategies. The good news is, you can learn to manage stress.
You only need to find your favorite strategy. Some people love a challenging workout, others have no motivation to follow a challenging exercise routine. They may like a relaxing spa or massage treatment.
But first, let’s start with some quick tips how to deal with stress.
1. Worst case scenario
When you worry or panic, simply ask yourself: “What can happen in the worst case?”
Let’s assume you face a job interview and you get extremely nervous. First, you will survive! And if you don’t get the job, the next interview will come. Work on your self-confidence. Chin up and move on!
Often enough our thoughts get out of control. Stop negative thinking. Focus on facts.
2. Breathing exercises
Deep inhaling – long exhaling. This is easy, right? And so effective! Here you find 6 breathing exercises to relax within minutes.
3. Progressive muscle relaxation
There are many guided meditations and YouTube videos which help you to master this technique. Here is a quick introduction on progressive muscle relaxation.
4. Let your feelings out
Do you feel stressed because you suppress emotions? Laugh, cry, and express anger when you need to. Talk with a close friend or a family member.
Don’t try to be strong and confident around the clock. You’re a human being. You have feelings.
10 Tips for stress prevention
To improve your wellbeing and health, in the long run, you need to improve your lifestyle.
The key to reducing stress is to prevent it. Slowing down and taking things easier are two first good steps. What else can you do?
1. Time management
Having clear priorities is important when it comes to your daily to-do lists. Avoid last minute tasks and procrastination.
Get inspired by my article HOW TO BEAT PROCRASTINATION AND STAY PRODUCTIVE
Scheduling is good, on the other side don’t plan every single minute of your day. Simplify your to-do lists. Focus on what matters most.
Stable routines help to stay balanced and organized.
You can’t control all – neither situations nor people. Adapt the principle “progress over perfection”. It will help you to accomplish much more.
4. Work-life balance
How do you spend your time – daily and weekly? Are you paying your hobbies, partner or family enough attention? If not, it could be the reason that you feel stressed. Find a balance, make time for some private “quality time”.
Do you have problems to disconnect from the internet? Follow 5 STEPS TO MASTER YOUR DIGITAL DETOX
What about an old or a new hobby? This could be gardening, writing, crafts, art, taking care for a pet or volunteer work. Do something with a good purpose. It creates a positive mood and makes you happy.
5. Lifestyle choices
Fast food, sugar, alcohol, caffeine, nicotine or drugs – many people treat their body badly when they’re stressed.
Others waste money with impulsive shopping or gambling.
Reflect your habits, and slowly replace them with healthier ones. A healthy nutrition and balanced lifestyle will make you feel better.
Focus on the present with the help of a meditation. Even five minutes are enough to feel a difference!
Laying on the sofa may relaxes you, but to reduce stress hormones in your body, you need to move.
A good exercise will increase levels of endorphins which make you feel happy and optimistic. Endorphins are as well natural painkillers. Physical activity can even improve your self–esteem!
If you don’t like intense workouts, simply go for a walk or try yoga.
If you feel stressed by the thought of doing exercise, start slowly and with just a few minutes. The motivation will come as soon as you feel a positive difference.
Besides walking, what about planting a garden or dancing? Those activities count as well when it comes to body movement.
8. Say no!
Eliminate unnecessary commitments. Practice saying “no” more often. Don’t try to please everybody. Don’t feel guilty. Don’t ignore your own needs. Take care for yourself. Love yourself.
9. Difficult people
Don’t let “toxic people” and “energy vampires” ruin your life. Be careful with negative people. Set limits and distance yourself from them. Be aware that their problems are not automatically your problems.
Many people feel stressed by their chaotic homes and possessions. Decluttering your life will calm your mind. Promised.
Get inspired by my article MINIMALISM | A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO SUCCESS
Focus on the positive outcome!
Replacing old bad habits with new healthier ones can actually be an exciting process. It’s all about your attitude.
Don’t tell yourself “I have to”, rather say “I want to”.
Focus on the positive outcome and how you will feel when you take action. That said, don’t overwhelm yourself with too many changes and goals at once. Focus on one new habit and mini goal at the time.
To manage stress, you need to gain back control over your mind. Do so with conscious daily actions and decisions.
Follow these steps to get rid of your stress:
1. Identify your stress triggers
- Start a journal
- Focus on your biggest stress factor
2. Manage your stress with
- Imagination of the worst case scenario
- Breathing exercises
- Progressive muscle relaxation
- Expression of feelings
3. Prevent new stress with
- Time Management
- Morning and evening routine
- Progress over perfectionism
- Work-life balance + Slow living
- Healthy lifestyle choices
- Mind relaxation
- Body movement
- Eliminate unnecessary commitments
- Distance from difficult people
- Positive mindset
Slowly change your lifestyle and you will succeed.
Stay balanced, Kathrin
Do you have other tips to manage stress? Leave a comment below!
Get your anti-stress freebie! My FREE SLOW DOWN GUIDE comes with 15 tips to reduce stress.
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