Stress is something that we are all used to, whether that be work stress or general stress within our day to day lives, we all know that feeling. There is no miracle solution to completely remove stress from your life, but there are ways of mitigating it and controlling it. During a stressful situation it can be hard to see beyond the stress itself, our minds are running 100mph and we feel we may spontaneously combust. I’m here to share with you my tips for dealing with stress that have proved useful to me, and I feel it would be irresponsible to not share these simple techniques. As with anything, it may not be for you, but don’t let that dishearten you because understanding your stress is a difficult process.
Firstly, I like to break down my responsibilities into a doable and achievable list, which allows me to break up what I need to do. This is definitely an important step because we want to break down your responsibilities into a less intimidating to do list. This is especially true for assignments or work, as oftentimes we may have a big task to achieve and this can seem like you’re attempting to scale Everest. Breaking up your responsibilities into smaller more digestible tasks means that you do not need to focus on the grand scheme, you can utilise a divide and conquer tactic to break it into smaller bits. This helped me majorly, as I often have a habit of procrastinating and then imagining a giant workload that I am yet to do. Whereas, if I break down a massive task I feel less stress because I know it is achievable if I do it a bit at a time.
I also find it useful to disconnect from social media, not only because scrolling through feeds adds to my procrastination, but also because we are bombarded with visual stimulus all the time and this can lead to an overactive mind, which in turn can heighten your feelings of stress. I’m not saying that social media leads to stress, but rather continued use can over stimulate your mind, and if you’re already quite sensitive to stimulus this can exacerbate its effects. Moreover, disconnecting and going for a nice walk in a natural space can majorly reduce my stress, as it gives me the ability to think clearly away from external stimulus. This may sound simple, but it really can be sometimes, I think it can be easy to overestimate what is causing your stress, so you automatically assume that tackling it will be complex and difficult. I wouldn’t have thought a few years ago that something as simple as going for a walk and being by yourself for a bit could drastically reduce my stress, yet it has, and I hope that it does the same for you too.
It is also worth noting down your stress triggers, get a journal or diary and write down the times when your stress feels unbearable. Finding the triggers of your stress is a great way to understand how to prevent or reduce it. Understand your stress as if it was a person, interrogate its motives, understand why it arises within certain situations. This can be difficult because sometimes it can be hard to put your stress into words, as it can often be unpredictable. You can be as detailed as you want, so you could simply write down words associated with your stress, or write detailed experiences of stressful situations. By having a journal you have a reference point to refer to when you feel stress coming on, you can understand what your triggers are and then work to either confront them or reduce the amount of triggers in your life. By understanding how stress affects you as an individual, you can go forward with a newfound confidence as stress will no longer be as uncertain as it used to be.