Take a deep breath. Hold it. Exhale. Then say to yourself, "I am stressed." Do it again. This time with conviction. By doing this, you have taken the first step to identifying and managing your stress. You have identified what it is that is causing you inner turmoil.
Say it again. It is alright to be stressed. It is perfectly normal. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. By following this short tutorial, you may find yourself in a better position to manage your stress effectively.
Step one is to say to yourself, and to positively identify that you are in fact stressed.
This helps you in one very critical way. You identify to yourself there is, in fact, a problem. One that is completely normal, and that everyone on the planet experiences. This first step is so important to do as it will help you logically figure out how to solve the problem which is stress.
Step two is to identify the stressor.
What is the thing, mechanism, or focal point that is causing you stress? For many of us, this can be work. It could be financial. There are so many things in this day and age that can cause us to worry. The biggest thing you can ask yourself now that you have identified the stressor is, "can I change it?" If the answer is yes. Then change it. If the answer is no then you should keep reading.
Step three is to get proactive.
This doesn't mean you must spend hours coming up with an action plan. Grab a pen and a notepad, and write "Now" at the top. At the bottom of the page write, "Done." This is your detailed timeline. In between "Now" and "Done" is your action plan. Simply fill in the details.
How you get to the bottom of the page is broken down into a series of easily achievable goal orientated tasks. Essentially, break your problem down into more easily do-able tasks which will amount to the total of your stress. The easier the better. If you need to fill your sheet do so. Importantly, though, it has to be linear. A straight line of goals. No side branches. One goal at a time. With your detailed timeline complete, take a deep breath, hold it, and slowly release. Get to work on your first goal.
Step four is concerned with biology.
The modern day human is not in line with the natural order. We sleep less, we eat less of our required nutrients, and we do more. Way more. That's alright. Remember, you are not alone. There are simple things we can do to alleviate unnatural pressures.
Sleeping more is one. Not only can you set an alarm to wake up, but you can set an alarm to sleep. Count backward from when your alarm is to wake you up. Try eight hours to start.
In other words, if you wake up at 6:30 AM, set an alarm for 10:30 PM. The PM timing is when you will be in bed by. In fact, I would recommend you set two alarms at night. The first alarm to remind you to get ready to sleep. A 15-minute reminder to stop watching T.V. and get your pyjamas on, and another that tells you to get in bed.
Step five is about eating right.
You hear it everywhere. You know why? Because it's true. Eat your veggies, eat whole foods, and get your vitamins. The best thing you can do is fuel your body. That doesn't mean go health crazy cause we all know a little ice cream can work wonders on the mind as well as the taste buds.
Step six is the last step for this tutorial and arguably the most important of all the steps: postive self-talk.
It is natural to blame yourself. It is natural to have self-doubt. You are not alone. It is empowering to have positive self-talk. Take a deep breath, hold it, exhale, and say something that is good about yourself right now. Take another deep breath and do it again. This time with conviction. Keep doing it. Look in the mirror. Look right in your eyes, take a deep breath, hold it, maintain eye contacted, exhale, and say it again.
Say something good about yourself. This is not usual for most people, and will require practice. It gets easier, and it is something that you alone will reap all the benefits. Believe me, the benefits are compounding.
Remember stress is as natural as breathing. You are not alone in the way you are reacting, but after this tutorial, you are now able to effectively identify and manage your stress.