Stress is a common issue most adults face in today’s world.
Stress has become one of the common causes of death, illness, and burnout.
Several people live daily with the knowledge of stress while some live without knowing if they are stressed because it has become a daily lifestyle.
In this article, I will be sharing signs to help you know if you’re stressed, how stress affects your daily life, common daily activities or occurrences that induce stress, and how to reduce stress in your life.
First, let’s give a brief intro to what stress is:
Stress is how your body reacts to certain situations or challenges. Stress does not only react to bad occurrences or negative situations but also to positive situations like those that make you feel excited.
Stress is also the reaction your body gets when you rush to meet a deadline after procrastinating a task for a long time.
Stress sometimes happens suddenly and goes immediately; like when you slam your car brakes suddenly in a bid to avoid an accident, or when you get good news from work or a family member. This type of stress is usually called Acute stress.
But there is also a type of stress that lasts for a longer period and affects your health and your daily life. This type of stress is known as chronic stress and it is the major type of stress that must be prevented to avoid heart problems, sicknesses, and untimely or sudden deaths.
Signs you’re stressed
Let’s look at signs you’re stressed. What are the signs you should look out for when you’re not sure if you are stressed or not?
- Difficulty sleeping or oversleeping
- Forgetting things easily
- Headaches that just won’t go
- Inability to perform sexual activities
- Inability to focus
- Body pains
- Using drugs to induce sleep
- Frequent tiredness
- Unnecessary weight gain or weight loss
Common stressors you should know
What are those things causing stress in your life? They could be your daily activities, your job, family members, friends, your environment, your gadgets, etc.
Anything can be a stressor in one’s life. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to stressors.
What stresses me might not be your stressor.
You have to determine what stresses you.
How can you determine your stressor?
You can determine your stressor by answering these questions:
- What is that situation that makes you anxious?
- Who is that person you don’t like their company but they never let you be?
- Is there something not working in your life that is making you worry?
- Is there a goal you’re finding hard to achieve?
- Are you having money problems?
- Are you struggling with your job or business?
- Do you have malfunctioning gadgets you need to replace?
- Is there a disorganized area in your room or home that you hate seeing?
Give careful thought to these questions and determine what stresses you out of all these questions.
You will realize it could be one thing or more than one thing that is causing major stress in your life.
If you need more pointers on the stressors in your life, here are common stressors you should know:
- Starting something new (Being a newlywed, starting a business, a new job, etc.)
- Losing a loved one
- Struggling to commute to your workplace daily
- Going through a divorce
- Underlying emotional problems (anxiety, depression, etc.)
- Lack of proper time management and a productive lifestyle
- An important tool or equipment not functioning properly
10 ways to live a less stressful life
After highlighting the problems, it is important to give the solution to the problem. What are the ways to get out of the stress rut and live a stress-less life?
Here are 10 ways:
“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength.”– Corrie Ten Boom
Most times the situations of our lives are not a threat to our health. We are the ones who make it a threat by our constant reaction to the situations.
Whenever you encounter a situation you can’t handle at the moment, desist from worrying.
Worry makes things worse by introducing stress, headaches, and other illnesses into the body and the mind.
When you encounter a situation that causes you to worry; ask yourself these two questions:
- Is it a situation I can handle? If yes. Wait till you’re fit to handle it and get to work on it.
- Is it a situation beyond my ability? If yes. Take a rest, then reach out to someone who can handle it. And if it’s a situation that will take time before it gets settled, do your best and allow time to take its cause.
It is better to avoid worrying (I know it’s hard) when you know worrying will not solve the problem.
“If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.”– The Dalai Lama
Take a break often
Many of us have gotten used to a life without breaks and rest.
Many believe ‘taking breaks’ is for losers and lazy people.
But the truth is those who know their limits and take breaks often are more likely to live longer and healthier.
So, when you feel tired, take a break.
You will always know because your body will tell you.
Overworking yourself will lead to ill health.
Think about this:
If you overwork yourself and neglect your health and rest because you want to make more money or do more work when your body breaks down and you can’t move a muscle, how will you be able to work and make money with a body you can’t move?
There is also a probability that you will spend all the money you made on drugs, surgeries, and medical consultations.
Take breaks now when you can and work when you feel well rested. That way, you will be able to balance work and rest without anyone lacking.
Find what calms you
This is an essential way to live a stress-free life.
Find what calms you.
For some people it’s yoga, meditation, praying, taking a cup of tea, avoiding caffeine, taking a walk, sleeping, or being alone.
Whatever it is for you, find it, and do it often.
Learn to say NO
Are you the type that says Yes to every request because you don’t want to offend anyone? Chances are you will end up offending yourself.
One vital truth I have learned in adulthood is that I cannot please everyone. I cannot satisfy everyone. And I cannot be everything for everyone.
As a creative, you will find people constantly seeking you for help with this and that, but you must understand that you can only do what you’re capable of.
As a writer, blogger, YouTuber, content creator, and productivity coach, I have had several people (loved ones, strangers, and friends) ask me different questions and ask for my help with different things pertaining to my work.
Some will ask that I help them draft a write-up, some will ask that I teach them how to start a blog, some will ask that I teach them how to design with Canva, and some will ask how they can achieve their goals and complete their tasks and todos, some will ask that I design for them, etc.
But there’s only so much one person can do. Apart from these requests, I still have several jobs to do for my brand and chores I need to do.
If I don’t learn to say No. I would break down.
I didn’t only learn to say No. I also learned to let people down easily. Especially when they are family or close friends.
I help with what I can and I let them know I can only handle this much. I also give guides or send helpful articles to people instead of doing the teaching or work myself.
If you don’t learn how to say No, you will break down a lot.
Reduce the stress in your life by saying No more often.
Rearrange your home. Clean out a cluttered space. Rearrange your wardrobe. Clear out the store room. Throw out stuff you don’t use or rarely use.
Clear your workspace. Change out clustered furniture for more minimalist furniture.
Free up your mind by writing down your thoughts (journaling). Clear out your email box and message box.
Whatever it is that is taking up a lot of space in your life, reduce them or clear them out and you will feel a lot better.
Build good habits
Are there bad habits you have refused to let go of?
They might be the major stressor of your life.
Bad eating, drinking, and sleeping habits are major causes of stress in our lives.
So, if you have bad habits like skipping breakfast, smoking, heavy alcohol drinking, drinking soda, sitting in one place for a long time, or always staring at the phone or computer screen; you need to work on it now before it starts contributing badly to your life.
Building good habits takes time because you don’t build bad habits in a day. So, take your time when building good habits.
Don’t try to do away with all your bad habits at once. Take them one at a time and replace them with good habits.
Good habits you can form are: Sleeping for 8 hours, eating healthy meals, eating fruits and vegetables, exercising, reading, taking walks, laughing/smiling more, etc.
Work on your mind
The mind is the home of every thought.
Every action taken was first formed in the mind as a thought.
So, work on your mind.
You can work on your mind by reading books, listening to music with good lyrics, listening to podcasts, or watching videos that teach good mindsets and how to live a better life.
Also, when you feel stressed, you can watch relaxing videos or massage videos.
I have learned that they help relax your mind and your body.
Constantly working on your mind and listening to the right information helps you reduce stress and live a better life.
Do things at the right time (Avoid Procrastination)
If you’re still struggling with procrastination, then you need to read this Ultimate tip to overcoming procrastination.
If you want to reduce stress greatly in your life then you must learn to do things immediately, instead of pushing them till later.
When you do things later (which is usually done in a rush), you introduce anxiety, stress, tiredness, and frustration into your life.
So, it’s better to take your time doing things at the right time than doing them later in a rush.
Do the things you love.
What are life without the people, places, and things we love!
One way to live a stress-free life is by doing the things you love.
What do you love doing?
What is that thing that makes you happy?
That gets you excited and joyous?
What is that thing you can spend a whole day doing without getting tired or feeling stressed?
Find it and do it more often.
It could be traveling, singing, watching movies…
It could even be visiting family, going out with friends…
Or it could be designing, working on your goals, painting, or dreaming…
Whatever it is for you… ensure you do it.
Stress has cut so many promising lives short and it is sad that it is overlooked and seen as normal.
Stress can be reduced and that is why I have written this article.
Figure out what stresses you and find out how to avoid it completely or find a solution to it.
It is possible to live a stress-free life and it can start with me and you!
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