How to handle stress

What if you could be free of dark clouds and free of stressful thoughts?
What if you could be relaxed, calm and composed facing that particular situation that usually drives you into the gutter?

I have some good news and some bad news:

  • The good news is that stress is 100% about your mental attitude which can be changed. It's all in your head.
  • The bad news is that you are unlikely to change your mental attitude unless a situation or person pushes you to. How you are pushed can determine if you get out before it's too late. The best way to treat it is to get consultation.

What we stress about

We usually stress about our jobs, the lack of them or our employees. Stress is usually brought on by trying to overachieve. This can be any situation, but will most likely be related to a job situation.

You may rationalize about it and say to yourself "I shouldn't stress over it!", yet somehow you still manage to do so and trying to deny it only makes it worse. And you would be right – You shouldn't, but thinking about it won't help you.

What NOT to do

The following things can make your situation worse:

  • Telling yourself "Don't be stressed!"
    Your subconsious mind doesn't understand "not", it can only picture concrete things like relaxation.
  • Drinking more coffee.
    Coffee contains caffeine which will in turn put your heart and system into overdrive. It will actually push you deeper into a caffeine addiction and into stress.

How to treat or prevent stress

There are several ways that you can prevent or treat stress. I usually do not advice clients to change jobs, since this may add stress (quitting can be though decision that causes stress in itself). Some things will apply to you, and some won't. The best way to treat it, is to get consultation. Convincing yourself can be a though challenge on top of it all.

  • Meditate.
    Meditation is free and several studies have proven it to be healthy for both body and mind. Results are instant and can have positive long-term effects as well. Get started right now!
  • Accept that "it's not my responsibility".
    If you are eager to please or a very responsible person it can be hard to do it, but ultimately you need to accept that it's not always your responsibility. Your employer is responsible for providing you with the resources (materials and people) that you need to complete a task on time. If you tell them that it's a stretch and you need more resources, then it's ultimately their decision not to provide it and thus take responsibility.
  • Say no, when you already feel pressure and someone asks you for help.
    Many will associate saying no to being inadequate or worse. This is not the case. If you want your boss and colleagues to like you, you need to be consistent and produce consistent quality on time. If your boss thinks you spend too much time on quality and not quality, then explain that you can be quicker, but the result may be of lesser quality. Be consistent in this message, and your boss will accept it.

Why we stress

Stress is a mechanism to protect us from from real danger in nature. When we get stressed blood is pumped to our muscles to help us run faster and jump higher. We feel compelled to act now.
But that extra blood to the muscles is taken from our brain and organs. During life-threatening danger, digestion and mathematics aren't as important and running those extra feet to safety.

That's really all there is to it without going into the deeper biology of stress.

Consequence of prolonged stress

As you can see, blood is re-routed and higher brain power is reduced among other things. Our body needs to regenerate and organs need to do their job for you to survive. Since stress is such a powerful state it can have severe effects on your body if prolonged. Many conditions such as cancer or heart diseases can be caused by prolonged stress. Pregnant women will negatively affect their coming children and intellectual power will be down-prioritized.

Think of it this way: Stress is your overdrive/athletic turbo mode. If you overuse it, it will wear on your body.

This article is work in progress. You can help me finish it by adding comments or e-mailing me at scarlac at gmail. Thank you.

One thought on “How to handle stress”

  1. I came to your site b/c your JS stopwatch. I like that you are helping with stress. Ask your visitors to do this one thought experiment.

    1. Ask someone what they would feel if _______ happens? Don't make it too bad, just something they wouldn't like.

    2. A common response is "I'm going to be angry/mad/pis*ed!".

    3. Now ask "Why do you choose to be angry/mad/pis*ed?" They have the choice to respond any way they want. It hasn't even happen yet, and it may never happen but people will know exactly how they are going to feel about it.

    Plan to be positive, open minded, or a detached observer instead of automatically going to the negative emotions.

    Realize that we choose how we feel.

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