Handling mental stress
You can enter and commit to every physical fitness program on the planet and still be a high risk for stroke if you let mental stress get the best of you.
Being consistently stressed can sap the life out of you. There’s no real way to avoid stress, just realistic ways to handle and cope with stress. Some people turn to unhealthy ways to cope with stress. Ever heard of stress eating? While it’s true that food takes your mind off stress for a while, it has adverse long-term effects that lead to dangerous health problems.
Like I always tell everyone, stress is a matter of perception. A little bit of stress is good for our mental well-being. It keeps us motivated and focused. Too much stress, however, can derail everything you’ve worked hard to achieve.
How do you handle mental stress?
The first step to handling stress is identifying where your stress is coming from. Is it from your work, your family, or your friends? Are you having domestic problems? Conventional knowledge says that all you have to do is identify the source and fix the problem – but we all know that it’s easier said than done.
The key to handling mental stress is having a positive attitude. Understand that stress is temporary, and that it goes away eventually.
Mental stress is often the result of self-doubt. Instead of feeding your self-esteem with negativity, remind yourself that the problem and solution would remain unchanged, regardless if you think positively, or negatively.
|Negative Thoughts||Positive thoughts|
|There’s no way I can do this||I’ll do the best I can|
|Oh, no. Not again!||This happened before. I know how to deal with it|
|I made a mistake||I learned from my mistake|
|It’s the end||It’s the start of something new|
Another way to handle stress is through relaxation. Treat yourself to a nice massage and ease the tense muscles on your body. Do activities that relax you. Watch TV, play a video game, go out for a hike. These activities take your mind away from overthinking about your problem. Studies have shown that your pets can relieve your stress as well. Simply watching your pet fish or playing fetch with your dog can do wonders with your mental stress. Surround yourself with people and things that take your mind off stress and you would be surprised at how easy it is to forget being stressed out.
The last thing you want to have when you’re stressed is another stressor that you have to deal with. Learn from your past stressors and avoid them. Avoid doing things that add to your frustration – or better yet, manage your frustration. Being a perfectionist lets you experience a lot more stress than other people. Manage your expectations, and accept that outside forces can affect the outcome.
At the end of the day, you’re not alone with your mental stress. Talk to your friends and family. Sometimes a little human touch is all we need to remind ourselves that stress is just temporary.