At the early stage of my coaching practice, I remember a client who was dealing with stress - she was trying to make many changes in her life, with the chief aim to live a stress-free life. Living a stress-free life was a very interesting idea for me at the time. To this day, I am still trying to understand it and I am afraid that this is rather impossible to do.
Exploring psychology and learning about coaching allowed me to clarify many aspects that come with stress management. Not only did I learn the principles and techniques of responding to stress, but I also learnt that some level of pressure is required for us to perform optimally.
I have discovered tools that helped me manage extremely difficult situations in my life, such as navigating through grief after my father’s death or going through a breakdown in my marriage. I understand now that I have no control over negative events in my life. I can only navigate myself through my response to these situations.
Learn and understand the way you react to stress
You might notice that people respond to stressful situations differently. Some get angry and frustrated in an attempt to get rid of the stress. Others might become quiet and resentful of any social contact. Some might try their best to fix everything around them or get involved in multiple projects so they don’t have to think about stressful events.
In social settings like family, friends, work environment, etc. we usually know how people sound us deal with stress. As much as we want to learn about how others deal with their stress, we need also to look at our own stress response. That will help us to pick it up early signals of brewing stress before they become unmanageable and learn more helpful responses to stress.
Treat yourself with compassion and kindness
Many of us learnt to focus on others whilst completely forgetting our own needs. As much as we want to help others, we won’t be able to do so effectively if we are totally drained of mental and physical resources. Giving ourselves some extra love and kindness is the best thing we can do for ourselves. We can look at ourselves from the perspective of someone we love. Often we are harsh and judgemental towards ourselves, which only makes things even harder.
Practice techniques that calm your nervous system
There are many free, simple techniques that can help you tremendously in calming your nervous system. I know it can be difficult to find something due to the plethora of mental health resources. We may also easily get discouraged after using something that did not work for us.
As previously mentioned, we are all different. The same way certain medicines work differently for individuals is the same way stress management tools work differently for individuals. Some people might immerse themselves in yoga or meditation practice, some might prefer physical activities whilst others might only appreciate talking therapy. Often than not, a combination of many small practices will help you to achieve a better balance of mind and body connection.
You could try to make notes of things that help you the most in your stress management journey. Don’t forget to include them in everyday life. Make stress management a real practice.
Take one day at a time and remember nothing lasts forever
Lastly, stressful situations can drag on for a while but… they don’t last forever. We might think that whatever it is will never end. It definitely might feel like that. Regardless of your current feeling, try to remember how you have managed to overcome other situations in your life. How many times did you think each situation will stay as is forever? And it didn’t. Putting this into perspective can be extremely helpful.
I hope you enjoyed that post. I am really curious about what things have helped you to manage stress in the past. I encourage you to leave a comment or drop me a message.