3 ways to manage stress
Proper eating habits and exercise are the key to a healthy lifestyle. However, life is not as simple as working out and eating chicken, rice, and broccoli. As such, stress in life can easily overwhelm our pursuit of fitness goals and overall health. In fact, systemic stressors can manifest into physiological pathologies, such as heart disease, weakened immunity, and chronic pain. While life causes situations that are not controllable, it is important to recognize management strategies that can be incorporated for when those situations arise. Here are three ways for anyone to manage their life stressors.
Commit to an action prior to the action
While it is great to enjoy moments in the now, many times we get caught in the moment of what is going on before we make our next decision. For examples, waiting until you are hungry to find the next meal, waiting until the the last five minutes of leaving to decide what to wear for work, or figuring out everyone's Christmas gifts on Christmas Eve (All of which I have been guilty of myself!). If you know there is a point that will make you decide, it is more effective and easier to be assertive and make the choice beforehand. Likewise, when the time arises, you would already have decided upon the course of action to take beforehand, allowing you have given more thought into your course of action. While not every situation will allow this (or even be required), setting time beforehand and committing to choices on the areas that you know will arise will limit the possible environment of anxiety and indecisiveness that can arise from last minute decisions.
2. Solving problems that arise
Plans can be made out to the T, but life never does. Therefore, it is important to have a plan of action that will provide a solution to the problems given. Oftentimes, it becomes overwhelming to fix problems that were not expected or are not easy to fix. However, as easy as an issue can arise, it is as important to find ways to solve the issue. Focusing on the problem does not fix the problem itself and can lead to negative self talk and poor expectations. It is rather the opportunities that are still available to you that will allow a solution. It is finding the light that will lead you out of the tunnel.
3. Create self expectations
While it is important to be around those you love and do social activities, it is easy to become caught in other people's expectations and lose control of your surroundings. This can lead to undesired consequences, such as lowered self esteem, lowered confidence, and increased anxiety. Being assertive, responsible, and self-controlled are important for you and your health. Setting time for yourself and your values should be a priority in creating our own expectations, goals, and stress management.
Through self-commitment, solutions, and expectations, you can create a positive pathway to success for your health goals!
Leyden-Rubenstein, L. A. (1998).The Stress Management Handbook : Strategies for Health and Inner Peace. NTC Contemporary.
Carleton, R. N., Abrams, M. P., Kachur, S. S., Asmundson, G. J., & G. (2009). Waddell's symptoms as correlates of vulnerabilities associated with fear-anxiety-avoidance models of pain: Pain-related anxiety, catastrophic thinking, perceived disability, and treatment outcome.Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation,19(4), 364-74.