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Managing Stress in Daily Life

Managing Stress in Daily Life
Stress

    How many people do you meet who complain of being totally stressed out and tired all the time? Do you also feel that you are tired and fatigued most of the times and do not have time for yourself?

    In this fast paced life, one of the highest complaints that people have is about the fact that they are tensed or disturbed about some thing or the other. The cause of stress could be deadlines at work, finances to pay the bills, catching up with colleagues in terms of lifestyle or a tense relationship at home.

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    Though it has been agreed by all experts that a certain amount of stress is required to add that little bit of spice to life and also to enable you to perform to the best of your capabilities, prolonged levels of high stress can cause physiological and mental issues. It can manifest itself in illnesses like recurrent headaches, upset stomach, rashes, ulcers, sleeplessness, high blood pressure and heart related ailments.

    But given that there is merit in a certain amount of merit the idea is not to get rid of stress completely. Which is why in most of the information that you read, people talk about ‘stress management’ and not ‘stress elimination’.

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    The first step towards managing your stress levels better is to be cognizant of the various stimuli that that stress you. These could be situations, environments, people or expectation. This initial part of managing stress is of extreme importance since there are different things that stress different people. Some people can work well under pressure and a structured and less challenging environment may cause them frustration. And then there are others who prefer to work in a company that has a process orientation. There could also be certain people who criticize you whenever you meet them and so an impending meeting could also be the cause of stress.

    Once you have identified your stress situations and people, you need to think about whether you can change the stimulus or not. For example, if your stressor is a close relative of yours, you may not be able to avoid meeting them completely. But you may be in a position to limit them to only family gatherings that may happen only a couple of times a year. If your boss at the workplace stresses you out, there may be no way in which you can avoid him on a daily basis.

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    When such a situation occurs, you should then try and evaluate if you can check your response towards the stress-causing stimuli. If your uncle is bent upon criticizing your business ventures and harps about the lack of success that you have had, you can choose to ignore the comment rather than trying to rationalize your attempts vehemently.

    Trying to change your response may not be an easy thing to do if you feel strongly about something. But this is where changing your perspective helps. Take one step back and look at the whole situation from another person’s point of view. Does it really matter whether your uncle thinks highly of your ventures? Is it so important that you try and please every person whom you meet? Expecting the moon from yourself is also not a fair thing to do. No one is perfect and each person has his or her own faults. Rather it is more prudent to be practical and expect what is possible and achievable. If you set goals that are too high to be achieved, there is bound to be frustration and stress. And even then, if you feel you have the ability to achieve the goals that you have set for yourself, give yourself time to achieve them. Minor setbacks on the way are inevitable and these should not be considered as setbacks but stepping-stones to success.

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    Lastly, if you are already stressed out due to some reason or the other try some of the relaxation techniques. Some of the various techniques that you can try out are

    • Correct breathing
    • Taking time out
    • Listening to music
    • Yoga
    • Laughter therapy
    • Meditation
    • Acupuncture and acupressure
    • Progressive relaxation
    • Exercise and stretching techniques
    • Self-suggestion
    • Diet management
    • Massage

    Last but not the least, try and be around people who are happy and jovial all the time. If you spend time with people who have a negative perspective towards life, you are also likely to find that you are cribbing all the time. But appreciate the gifts that have been bestowed on you and look at life in a more carefree way and you will realize that suddenly life has actually become carefree and easy.

    Vishal P. Rao shares his insights and tips on stress management at Relishing Life.

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    Last Updated on December 10, 2019

    How to Stay Motivated and Reach Your Big Goals in Life

    How to Stay Motivated and Reach Your Big Goals in Life

    It is hardly a secret that the key to successfully accomplishing one goal after another is staying motivated. There are, of course, tasks which successful people may not like at all, yet they find motivation to complete them because they recognize how each particular task serves a greater goal.

    So how to stay motivated most of the time? Here are 5 simple yet effective ways on how to stay motivated and get what you want:

    1. Find Your Good Reasons

    Anything you do, no matter how simple, has a number of good reasons behind it.

    You may not be able to find good reasons to do some tasks at first but, if you take just a few moments to analyze them, you will easily spot something good. We also have many tasks which don’t need any reasoning at all – we’ve been doing them for so long that they feel natural.

    If you’re ever stuck with some tasks you hate and there seems to be no motivation to complete it whatsoever, here’s what you need to do: find your good reasons.

    Even when you set goals, there needs to be reasons behind these goals. They may not be obvious, but stay at it until you see some, as this will bring your motivation back and will help you finish the task.

    Some ideas for what a good reason can be:

    • A material reward – quite often, you will get paid for doing something you normally don’t like doing at all.
    • Personal gain – you will learn something new or will perhaps improve yourself in a certain way.
    • A feeling of accomplishment – at least you’ll be able to walk away feeling great about finding the motivation and courage to complete such a tedious task.
    • A step closer to your bigger goal – even the biggest accomplishments in history have started small and relied on simple and far less pleasant tasks than you might be working on. Every task you complete brings you closer to the ultimate goal, and acknowledging this always feels good.

    2. Make It Fun

    When it comes to motivation, attitude is everything. Different people may have completely opposite feelings towards the same task: some will hate it, others will love it.

    Why do you think this happens? It’s simple: some of us find ways to make any task interesting and fun to do!

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    Take sports for example. Visiting your local gym daily for a half-an-hour workout session sounds rather boring to some. Yet many others love the idea!

    They like exercising not only because they recognize the good reasons behind it, but simply because it’s fun! At certain time of their daily schedule, they find going to gym to be the best thing to do, simply because nothing else will fit their time and lifestyle so perfectly.

    Depending on how you look at it, you can have fun doing just about anything! Just look for ways of having fun, and you’ll find them!

    A simple approach is to start working on any task by asking yourself a few questions:

    • How can I enjoy this task?
    • What can I do to make this task fun for myself and possibly for others?
    • How can I make this work the best part of my day?

    As long as you learn to have the definite expectation of any task being potentially enjoyable, you will start to feel motivated.

    Some of you will probably think of a thing or two which are valid exceptions from this statement, like something you always hate doing no matter how hard you try making it fun. You’re probably right, and that’s why I don’t claim everything to be fun.

    However, most tasks have a great potential of being enjoyable, and so looking for ways to have fun while working is definitely a good habit to acquire.

    3. Change Your Approach And Don’t Give Up

    When something doesn’t feel right, it’s always a good time to take a moment and look for a different approach for the task.

    You may be doing everything correctly and most efficiently, but such approach isn’t necessarily the most motivating one. Quite often, you can find a number of obvious tweaks to your current approach which will both change your experience and open up new possibilities.

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    That’s why saying “one way or another” is so common — if you really want to accomplish your goal, there is always a way; and most likely, there’s more than one way.

    If a certain approach doesn’t work for you, find another one, and keep trying until you find the one which will both keep you motivated and get you the desired results.

    Some people think that trying a different approach means giving up. They take pride in being really stubborn and refusing to try any other options on their way towards the goal.

    My opinion on this is that the power of focus is great, but you should be focusing on your goal, and not limiting your options by focusing on just one way to accomplish it it.

    4. Recognize Your Progress

    Everything you may be working on can be easily split into smaller parts and stages. For most goals, it is quite natural to split the process of accomplishing them into smaller tasks and milestones. There are a few reasons behind doing this, and one of them is tracking your progress.

    We track our progress automatically with most activities. But to stay motivated, you need to recognize your progress, not merely track it.

    Here’s how tracking and recognizing your progress is different:

    Tracking is merely taking a note of having reached a certain stage in your process. Recognizing is taking time to look at a bigger picture and realize where exactly you are, and how much more you have left to do.

    For example, if you’re going to read a book, always start by going through the contents table. Getting familiar with chapter titles and memorizing their total number will make it easier for you to recognize your progress as you read. Confirming how many pages your book has before starting it is also a good idea.

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    You see, reading any book you will be automatically looking at page numbers and chapter titles, but without knowing the total number of pages, this information will have little meaning.

    Somehow, it is human nature to always want things to happen in short term or even at once. Even though we split complex tasks into simpler actions, we don’t quite feel the satisfaction until all is done and the task is fully complete.

    For many scenarios though, the task is so vast that such approach will drain all the motivation out of you long before you have a chance to reach your goal. That’s why it is important to always take small steps and recognize the positive different and progress made. This is how your motivation can sustain in long term.

    5. Reward Yourself

    This is a trick everyone likes: rewarding yourself is always pleasant. This is also one of the easiest and at the same time most powerful ways to stay motivated!

    Feeling down about doing something? Dread the idea of working on some task? Hate the whole idea of working? You’re not alone.

    Right from the beginning, agree on some deliverables which will justify yourself getting rewarded. As soon as you get one of the agreed results, take time to reward yourself in some way.

    For some tasks, just taking a break and relaxing for a few minutes will do.

    For others, you may want to get a fresh cup of coffee and even treat yourself a dessert.

    For even bigger and more demanding tasks, reward yourself by doing something even more enjoyable, like going to a cinema or taking a trip to some place nice, or even buying yourself something.

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    Your progress may not seem to others like anything worth celebrating but, take time and do it anyway! It is your task and your reward, so any ways to stay motivated are good.

    The more you reward yourself for the honestly made progress, the more motivated you will feel about reaching new milestones, thus finally accomplishing your goal.

    Mix and Match

    Now that you have these five ways of staying motivated, it is a good moment to give you the key to them all: mix and match!

    Pick one of the techniques and apply it to your situation. If it doesn’t work, or if you simply want to get more motivated, try another technique right way. Mix different approaches and match them to your task for the best results.

    Just think about it: Finding good reasons to work on your task is bound to helping you feel better; and identifying ways to make it fun will help you enjoy the task even more.

    Or, if you plan a few points for easier tracking of your progress and on top of that, agree on rewarding yourself as you go; this will make you feel most motivated about anything you have to work through.

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    Featured photo credit: Lucas Lenzi via unsplash.com

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