There’s a great little survey on the BBC’s health website entitled, “How stressed are you?”
I used to get a lot more stressed than I do now and that’s why this article stood out to me.
My stress would normally manifest itself in frustration then anger. Here’s a few examples of how stressed I used to get.
– I’ve smashed many an item including a 42 inch TV.
– I’ve been involved in numerous road rage incidents.
– In a fit of rage I threw a wall paper scraper at my brother, when we were children, which caused him to be hospitalised.
– I once beat my sandwiches into a pulp after my mother made them incorrectly.
This is how the stress test went for me.
The sources of stress are very personal so I can only speak from my perspective on how I think I became less stressed.
I got tired of getting worked up and anxious about issues out of my control.
The trouble is, at the time, I didn’t see that these issues, were out of my control. This word control has a lot to do with it.
I had to stop and really question the use of me getting wound up about things, regardless of whether they were in my control or not.
I came up with 3 reasons for not getting stressed:
1. It’s bad for my health.
2. It doesn’t help or find a solution for the issue I’m getting stressed about. In fact it probably complicates it.
3. It makes me unhappy.
This may sound like a crazy solution but it worked for me. I chose to close my eyes, breathe calmly, smile and think, “Let go, it doesn’t matter”.
Like I said, I CHOSE to do this.
It didn’t come natural at first because it’s counter intuitive to the way I’d normally react but after a while it becomes habit, then second nature.
Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t work everytime and I still lose my temper but not as much as I did.
This may not work for you but what I will say is this:
You can only deal with ONE issue at a time, so only focus on ONE issue, the most important one.
Once this is sorted then move onto the next.
So write a list of things that are causing you stress. Remember these can only be issues you have control over.
Put the most important to the top of the list then take action to deal with this one, completely ignoring the others until this one is done.
If this doesn’t help you, look at the Ten stress busters list on the NHS website and pick just ONE that you think will help.
Personally I think exercise is hugely underrated when it comes to mental well being.
If you find something that works for you I’d love to hear about it.