No matter your age or job, you’re sure to find yourself in high-stress situations as you continue your journey through life. Stressful situations are a staple of life, without them, the good times would be meaningless. It is during these hard times that people develop character and learn to put things into perspective. In many settings, how you deal with stressful situations can directly affect your career and personal relationships.
It’s no understatement that how you deal with hard times can make or break you both personally and professionally. Some people lash out at others when they are going through hard times, alienating them and having long-lasting effects on their personal relationships. Others shut down and neglect their problems during stressful times, opting not to acknowledge their stressors instead of being healthy and facing them head-on.
The following tips are designed to equip you with the knowledge you need to not only get by during times of great stress but to thrive and grow because of them.
1. Take a step back
This tip is listed first because it is perhaps the most important piece of advice you can give to anyone dealing with hard times. Your judgment is not reliable when you make things personal. Instead, you need to take a step back and ask yourself, “What advice would I give someone else who was dealing with the same situation?” That advice often differs from the conclusions we reach when we let personal matters cloud our judgment.
2. Keep your head up
It is also important that you keep your head up and remain positive during times of great stress. Negative attitudes have a tendency to start small and spiral out of control, making things seem worse than they actually are. This can make it more difficult to find viable solutions. Rather than focusing on the worst-case scenario, concentrate on solutions and be confident that you will conquer the situation.
Mayo Clinic writes, “Virtually any form of exercise, from aerobics to yoga, can act as a stress reliever. If you’re not an athlete or even if you’re out of shape, you can still make a little exercise go a long way toward stress management. Exercise increases your overall health and your sense of well-being, which puts more pep in your step every day.” Additionally, just like some people think the most clearly in the shower, others think the most clearly while they exercise and are more likely to find solutions while doing so.
4. Make time for yourself
Making time for yourself will help you clear your head and see the situation more clearly. Even if you only have an hour, take some time to unwind and focus on yourself. Read a book. Do a crossword puzzle. Meditate. Go for a walk. Do whatever it is you do to enjoy yourself. Massage therapy with a quality personal massager is a sure-fire way to destress both physically and mentally. By making time for yourself, you are preventing the stressor from taking over your life and giving yourself a better path to overcoming it.
5. Phone a friend
If you’re lucky enough to have trustworthy people in your life who care about you, don’t be afraid to ask them for help. This will help you on several fronts. For one, reaching out to a friend or family member will reinforce the fact that you are not alone and that they will be there for you no matter what you’re going through. Also, a trusted friend or family member can be of great help if you are finding it difficult to remove yourself from the situation and look at the big picture. Someone with no stake in the outcome of a situation can often see it the most clearly.
6. Plan your solution
Once you’ve removed yourself from a situation and cleared your head, it’s time to come up with a plan-of-action to overcome your stressor. Think about what the ideal outcome would be for you and develop a plan to achieve that outcome. Ideally, you should put pen to paper and write down a step-by-step process for overcoming the stressor standing in your way. This way the plan will feel real and not hypothetical.
BONUS TIP: Avoid coffee
Well…decaf is okay. What you really need to avoid is caffeine! While caffeine is often helpful to get the day started, it can further exacerbate your stress chemically in the brain. This is why it’s best to avoid coffee, highly caffeinated teas, and energy drinks during times of great stress. On another note, coffee is also known to cause sleep issues, weight gain, and daytime fatigue.
Speaking of stress relief…our personal massagers and massage chairs are designed to target specific reflex points that relieve stress, improve circulation, and enhance sleep quality! Plus they come with lengthy warranties and our best-in-class customer service.