Stress and anxiety are prevalent in modern life. When the pressures and demands exceed your capabilities, stress and anxiety soon raise their ugly heads. The consequences can be horrific. Your health, relationships, and career can be seriously affected by stress and anxiety. When you find yourself in this situation, it is important not to panic. You need to devise a plan and some actions which can get you back on track and carry you towards the achievement of your goals and objectives. Wallowing in despair has never solved a problem, nor will it ever do so. Positive, effective action is required.
7 Steps to relieve stress and anxiety
The following 7 steps will help you to relieve stress and anxiety, wherever or whenever it may arise in your life. When you find yourself experiencing stress and anxiety, work your way through these steps and you will experience relief.
1. Establish a routine
Stress and anxiety often arise as a result of disorganisation or lack of control. Having a routine for your life gives you predictability and control over events. When you have clear routines, which you can follow on a daily basis, you are able to make progress on your key goals and objectives, without having to exert a great deal of thought or effort. Small steps, taken daily, carry you towards your objective.
There will be times when issues arise out of the blue. However, these occasions will be fewer and further between. As the majority of your life will be under control, these events will have a lesser impact and you will have more energy and confidence to tackle them quickly.
2. Establish a support group
I am not talking about a formal support group here, although depending on your specific issues, a formal support group may be able to help you. Regardless of the issues which you face, your life can always benefit from mutually beneficial relationships. These are the type of relationships where friends support each other, through good times and bad.
This is not about burdening others with your problems. When you have built mutually supportive relationships, you have friends who are happy to lend an ear and help you through your most difficult times.
3. Be good to yourself
When you are down and you are overcome by stress and anxiety; it feels like the world is beating you up. There is no need for you to join in. Rather than berate yourself; take the time to shower yourself with love and kindness. When you are overcome by stress and anxiety; it takes a lot of confidence and self-esteem to pull through.
Be the first person to treat you with kindness and compassion. When you believe yourself to be worthy of kindness and compassion, and you demonstrate this through your behaviour, others will follow suit. If you have hit a low point, remember that being good to yourself is the start of your recovery.
4. Practice acceptance
It may be tempting to deny how you are feelings but there is nothing to be gained by doing so. When you deny your feelings, you bottle them up. This does not eliminate those feelings. Instead, they reside within you and they come back to bite you, regularly. Remember, pretending that something does not exist does not make it go away.
The healthy approach is to accept and acknowledge your feelings. Ideally, you would talk to somebody that you trust but if this is not possible; try to find some way to express your feelings. Other methods include:
- Keeping a journal
- By being active e.g. physical training, punching a punch bag
There are endless ways to express and release your feelings so choose at least 1 which suits you.
5. Tackle what you can
If your stress and anxiety is severe, you might not be in a position to tackle the whole problem. This can cause you to sit idly by and watch as your stress and anxiety increases. Just because you cannot tackle the entire problem; it does not mean that you cannot tackle parts of the problem. Break the problem down into the smallest tasks possible. Then, identify which tasks you are ready to tackle and take the necessary action.
As you complete each task, no matter how small, you are reducing the size of the problem and reducing its impact on you. As you do so, your confidence and momentum builds and you feel ready to take on bigger and bigger challenges. Recovery is a gradual process but it will occur quicker if you keep taking positive action, one small step at a time.
6. Have fun
One common trait that I find amongst clients who are stressed is the lack of fun time. When you get really busy, it is easy to forget about scheduling some time to have fun and relax. Fun and relaxation do not occur naturally for busy people. You do have to schedule them. Review your schedule to ensure that you are including sufficient time for your favourite hobbies; sufficient time with your family, friends and loved ones; and sufficient time for relaxation.
Life cannot be all work and no play. Building fun and relaxation into your schedule will have a profound effect on your stress and anxiety levels.
7. Avoid overuse of dependant substances
There are a number of dependant substances which people turn to when faced with pressure or stress. These include drugs (both prescription and illicit), alcohol, tobacco and caffeine. While these substances may give you a temporary sense of relief, your problems will still be there when their effects wear off. Also, these substances, when misused, bring problems of their own.
From my own experience; when I was under a lot of stress, I used to have a few drinks. While it never turned into a dependency, I found that drinking had no positive impact. This was one of the many reasons why I decided to give up alcohol in 2006. Since I gave up alcohol, my ability to solve problems and avoid stressful situations has improved exponentially.
We are living in a hyperactive and highly active time. With the increase in technology, we are contactable 24/7 and we are expected to solve problems quicker than ever before. These are just some of the unrealistic demands which have been placed upon us. The improvement in technology has resulted in a misguided pursuit of greater efficiencies, instead of greater effectiveness. When you add in the impact of a world recession, the need to be able to manage yourself and your life is more important than ever before. There may be times when your ability to cope with the pressure is exceeded, resulting in stress and anxiety. When this happens, rather than panic, you can focus on taking positive action to overcome the problem. The 7 steps, outlined above, will help you make giant strides towards eliminating stress and anxiety from your life.
READ MORE: http://coachingpositiveperformance.com/7-steps-relieve-stress-and-anxiety/