Reducing Your Stress Levels May Seem Impossible

There are only 18 hours in the day (assuming you get some sleep) for all your responsibilities, and your job or family activities must also be taken care of. In reality, you have the ability to deal with all of this. The first step in stress management is actually realizing you are in control of your thoughts and your life.

Stress management is about controlling your thoughts, emotions and the way you handle difficult situations. If you can accomplish this you will have time for your job duties, enjoyable activities, rest and relaxation in addition to the ability to handle the pressure and take on difficult times.

Identify the Sources of Stress in Your Life

Managing Stress starts with finding the sources of stress in your life. This may sound straight forward, but it's not. The real stress sources are not always clear, and you may often neglect your stress inducing feelings, behaviors and thoughts. For example, you might think you're always worried about work due dates, when it is actually your constant procrastination, not your responsibilities, that causes you to stress.

To decipher whether a source of stress is the CAUSE or not, analyze your excuses, habits and attitude:

  • Do you tell yourself that the stress you have is only short term even though you don't know when you last took a break?
  • Would you say that your anxiety is a normal component of your personal or work life or one of your character traits?
  • Do you accuse other people or outside events for your worrying?

You must take full responsibility for the things you do to create and maintain your stress. Otherwise you will not be able to grasp complete stress management.

Record Your Anxiety in a Journal

A worry journal can help you identify the day to day causes of anxiety in your life and track the way you handle certain situations. Every time you feel stressed, record it in your journal. If you keep track of it, patterns will begin to emerge.Make a new entry every time you start to stress. Be sure to record the following:

  • What you think created the anxiety
  • How your body and emotions responded
  • How you responded to the stress
  • What you did to calm yourself down

Analyze the ways in which you manage stress. Think about how you deal with the stress in your life. Your stress management log will aid you in identifying your coping methods. Are your coping methods productive or hurtful? In reality, the ways that most people deal with their stress actually add to their stress levels in the

long run.

Harmful Methods to Deal With Stress

The following stress management strategies usually reduce stress in the short-term, but can cause permanent damage and increase stress levels:

  • Smoking
  • Drinking
  • Eating too much or little
  • Overuse of the television or computer games
  • Ignoring family and friends
  • Depending on medication to relax
  • Sleeping all of the time
  • Putting important things off
  • Keeping a busy schedule so that issues can be ignored
  • Physically or mentally abusing others

Learning Healthier Ways to Manage Stress

If the ways that you manage stress are hurting your mental or physical health then other steps should be taken. Many methods exist to help reduce your stress levels and help you manage your anxiety, but they all require you, yes YOU to take action. No one can do it for you.

If you decide to take action, remember the following techniques: stay away, modify, adapt and admit.

We all deal with the stress in our lives differently. There simply is no single solution that works for everyone. All you can do is try different techniques and see which ones work the best for you. With enough dedication, you can teach yourself to feel calm and in control in any situation.