The good news is that there are actually a few effective ways for you to cope with, reduce or even totally eliminate stress from your life – which we will learn more about here.
The First Step: Identifying Your Main Stressors
If you cannot get through a workweek without having anxiety or panic attacks, it’s your professional environment which is your main stressor. What can you do to deal with it? Everyone has difficult bosses to deal with, deadlines to meet and clients who are a real pain to please. No matter what the nature of your job is, how can you make sure that you will not be a slave to the stresses and pressures which appear at work on a daily basis? By simply identifying the main source of your stress, you already take steps on dealing with it.
Let’s say that your number one stressor at work is your boss. You can make a stress journal where you can write the specific details of a particularly difficult encounter with your boss. How did you deal with it? How did your boss make you feel afterwards? If you know that you did an otherwise okay job and your boss gave you such a hard time about it, could it be that he or she is just being a bully. Work through these feelings of anxiety so that you can get to the root cause of the stress – and know what to do the next time when you encounter such a situation.
Additional Steps on Dealing with Stress
After identifying your main stressors, here are additional steps on how you can deal with stress:
Steer clear of the unhealthy ways of coping with stress.
One of the biggest mistakes that you can make is turning to alcohol, smoking or food to deal with stress. Overeating, alcoholism, chain smoking or even isolating yourself from friends and family are totally unhealthy ways of coping with stress – so steer clear of them.
Change the situation.
The best way to deal with stress is to change the situation. If a difficult boss is your main cause of stress, how can you alter the situation? Perhaps you can take some more steps towards being assertive? If you know that you did an otherwise good job at a task, speak out and let your boss know that you did your best. If you cannot seem to say no to co-workers handing over their responsibilities to you, start now and learn how to say no. Time management will also help in changing your situation, so that you won’t have to deal with as much stress – be it at home or at work.
Change your reaction to the situation.
If you cannot change the situation, change your reaction to it. If you cannot seem to please a difficult boss, simply learn how to take the criticisms in stride. If you’re a perfectionist, learn how to adjust your standards. Always focus on the positive and look at the big picture – you won’t believe how big a difference this will make.
Indulge in stress-busting activities.
Finally, indulge in stress-busting activities that will take your mind away from your main stressors. Go out more often with friends; don’t spend lunch time at your desk – enjoy the outdoors even just for one hour; indulge in sports activities that will let you exhaust all that physical energy – the possibilities of what you can do as stress busters are practically endless.
In the end, stress is a natural part of life. If you would not know how to cope with it, stress is bound to get the better of you. Before this happens, it’s better to know how to adapt so that you can live a virtually stress-free life.