Updated: Feb 4, 2022
Stress is a word and an experience nobody wants to be involved with, yet many of us seem to forget that this is a natural part of our daily lives. Often times, the amount of stress that is dealt to us in life is not important, but the way that we deal with it is. We can minimize stress, but we can never completely eliminate it, and that is why one must learn to deal with it in an effective way.
What is pressure and stress?
These two words are used interchangeably, however there is a critical difference in that pressure is a situation where something that matters depends on your actions. Stress on the other hand is a situation in which you feel as though you do not have enough to meet the demands in your life. As one can see, pressure is a more positive term than stress and one part of combating stress is perceiving it in a more positive method. This method is to simply replace stress with pressure. Word choice is powerful and saying “I’m under pressure” instead of “I'm under stress” allows you to interpret the situation as a challenge and not as an overwhelming situation.
Why excessive stress can be bad
Excessive stress can manifest itself in the physical or mental form, however both occur frequently. A couple of the most detrimental physical side effects of stress are low energy, pain, tense muscles, and an overall uneasy feeling of discomfort. On the emotional aspect, feeling a lack of confidence, frustration, a chaotic mind, and low self-esteem are all possible byproducts of stress. There are many more symptoms of stress, but in general it is chaotic and throws your life out of balance and into misery.
What you can do to combat stress
Every person has their own personal way of dealing with stress, but I will highlight the most significant ways below:
-Sleep: Although this may seem quite obvious, many neglect the importance of a good night's rest. Sleeping is paramount to reducing and dealing with the daily stress in our lives. It is our body's way of repairing itself mentally and physically while also preparing it for the next day.
-Morning routine: A solid routine brings stability and certainty in your life which will allow you to handle stress more confidently. The key part to a routine is consistency and that includes waking up at the same time every morning and having a breakfast filled with protein.
-Seek out more pressure: As we distinguished between pressure and stress, being able to take on more pressure is akin to working out your muscles and thus over time by exercising the ability to handle more pressure you will be able to cope with stress better.
-Mindfulness: Being mindful is deciding to exist in the present moment and not focusing on the past or future. This mental practice can also be included in your morning routine by waking up earlier to allow yourself to have time. It can take as little as 10-15 minutes to include it in a solid routine.
-Exercise: If the benefits of exercise were to be sold in a pill, that pill would be the best-selling drug of the century. Mitigating stress is one of the benefits of exercise along with the myriad of physical and mental benefits.
At the end of the day, you must experiment and find the most suitable ways for you to handle stress. The one you stick to the most is the best one, on top of this, we may like different methods more than others. For example, my friend Larry likes to go on runs in the forest, and my other friend Wessam likes to take walks instead. Taking the important parts like having good sleep, a routine, mindfulness, etc. and building on top of it with your personalized ways of coping with stress will launch yourself on a path with minimal and manageable stress.