Often the first step to real stress relief is identifying what it is that is stressing you. You may think it should be obvious, but often it really isn’t what you think it is. When a person is stressed, it can be easy to overlook the true origin. Work deadlines, bills, and family problems are all general categories, but there is always a more specific indicator of what the real cause is if you look a little deeper.
Say, for example, that work deadlines seem to be what have you stressed. Ask yourself, “Is my job too demanding? Did I bite off more than I can chew on this project? Or am I just procrastinating because I don’t particularly want to do the work? Do I just hate my job!”
If your job is too demanding, then an easy way to stress relief in this case is delegating some of the tasks. This can take some of the burden off you and also allow you the ability to share the work and get some needed support from a colleague.
If you bit off more than you could chew, could you learn how to say “no” and stop over-committing yourself? Could you analyze the work project and find areas that aren’t really necessary to the successful completion of the job?
If you are procrastinating, then think about reordering the tasks you need to do. Split them up between things you like to do and things you don’t and alternate. Start with one you don’t like to do and then reward yourself for doing it with something you really enjoy doing. This gives you a measure of stress relief and also allows you to get all your work done.
If you narrow down the general categories of stress into something more tangible, then it’s easier to find a plan of action and solution.
It’s also very important to understand that stress isn’t a temporary condition. It has its ups and downs, but in reality it is always there. As long as you have bills to pay, a job to do, and relationships, you will experience some level of stress for the rest of your life.
The secret to coping with stress is being able to identify its sources and using that knowledge to your advantage. What can you learn from your tendencies and vulnerabilities? A little self analysis periodically really helps. Accepting where you are susceptible is a quick path to self-discovery. The more that you know about yourself and the role that you play in creating your own stress, the better you will be able to handle it.
With a little practice, you‘ll get really good at identifying the true sources of your stress. With some techniques targeted to the source you’ll reduce it. Stress relief achieved!