From work deadlines to relationships, everything can cause stress. Stress is actually a natural reaction; it’s our body’s way to tell us something is wrong. Stress becomes a problem when we cannot eliminate pressure. In this particular case, stress can lead to serious issues including physical health and mental health problems.
The modern world gave us easy access to information and many tools to improve our lives; however, for all the good things we have, there is a negative side that can cause unwanted stress. Thankfully, if we identify the causes, stress is manageable with the right tools and mindset.
What Causes Stress?
People are unique and the way they experience stress is just as unique as they are. Some see certain situations as opportunities, while others see them as stress factors. Perspective is very important because nothing is 100% good or 100% bad.
In the next paragraphs, you’ll discover that all modern sources of stress are, in essence, good things. The pressure we put on ourselves turned these positive things into stressful situations.
As amazing and beautiful as diversity is, it can be a source of stress for many people. With diversity comes different skill levels, more knowledge, and different values. In order to get along with different people, we have to get to know them and to understand them. When our values don’t align with theirs or when we feel threatened by their abilities, we become stressed and we forget to enjoy the wonderful side of diversity.
Comparing our lives, abilities, and goals with other people is a great source of stress these days. Comparison is not inherently bad; it can lead to healthy competition, progress, evolution, and new discoveries. The way we compare ourselves to others is bad because we do it in an unrealistic way. The standards we have are impossible and, usually, the things we think we know about others are not true. Everybody has a highlight reel but when we compare our worst days with someone’s best days, we develop unrealistic goals and expectations that can only cause us harm.
Knowledge is power but knowledge is also a source of stress. We’re bombarded with information every single day and, unless we learn how to filter, we become overwhelmed with stress and negative emotions.
In this day and age, you have to be capable to provide something different if you want to live a stress-free life. Nevertheless, there’s so much competition that this seems like an impossible task. The truth is everybody brings something different to the table even when they are doing the same thing so stressing over individuality is redundant since we already are unique.
We live in a fast world. Everything moves fast and changes fast so it’s hard to keep up with all the technological innovations and new discoveries. Rapid innovation is a great thing because it can solve many problems that had no solutions in the past but it can also be a source of stress since it’s hard to stay up to date with everything.
How to Deal with Stress?
Essentially, none of the modern sources of stress is a bad thing per se; however, our perception and the way we react is what makes the difference between a good thing and a bad thing.
Everything in life requires us to make a choice. Even stress does. You can let it take over your life and affect it in a negative way or you can turn stress into opportunities by choosing to look at the positive side of things.
Step Away From the Stress Source
Don’t give up; pause! It’s important to remove ourselves from a situation when we’re too stressed to deal with it.
Focus on Solutions
It’s all about perspective! When you’re facing a stressful situation, you can choose to focus on all the negative aspects or you can focus on solutions.
Stay or Become Active
Exercising stimulates the brain and puts you in a better place to deal with stress and all its side effects. Keep moving, stay active, and you’ll notice that stress is manageable again.
Laughter is the Best Medicine
As cliché as this sounds, laughter is indeed the best medicine. Humor can relieve tension and make a situation better so don’t be afraid to laugh and smile when things don’t go as planned.
Alone Time Is Important – Make It Matter!
It may seem counterproductive but it’s better to take a break, relax, then look at a problem with a calm mind than to force yourself to solve something when your stress levels are through the roof.
Improve Your Sleeping Habits
Sleepless nights don’t fix problems. In fact, they create more, thus it is important to rest and recover if you want to prevent bad outcomes.
Whether you like it or not, change is inevitable. You can’t prevent it but you can learn how to embrace it. Learn to control the things that can be controlled and accept the ones that you have no power over.