stress
Adulting 101,  Lifestyle,  Personal Development

How to Productively Manage Stress

Have you ever been stressed before? And I don’t mean the type of stress where you’re just saying “I’m stressed!” to simply say it. I’m talking about the type of stress where your mind is going crazy, you have a million things to do and you feel like you have no time to do them. Has that ever happened to you?

If you say no, you’re 100% lying. Everyone in the world experiences stress. However, there are so many ways that you can transform stress into something productive and manageable.

By the end of this post, you’ll be able to make your stress work for you, not against you by doing exactly what I tell you. So, if you’re ready to boss up, let’s begin.

What is Stress?

Stress is a reaction that we have to the things we experience. Stress can be either physical or mental depending on the situation.

But what causes our stress?

So many factors in our lives make us feel stressed.

Family

Friends

Homework/tests

Work

Not knowing what to wear/eat/watch

Literally anything can cause us to feel stressed.

And the tragic part? Stress can lead to chronic illness if not managed properly. But, don’t worry, that’s where this post comes in.

What can I do to manage my stress?

Managing stress is not an easy task. It takes a lot of strength, fortitude, and commitment. You need to be able to understand before you can overcome, and sometimes that’s the hardest part. So let’s break it down. Whenever you’re feeling stressed or panicked, I want you to do the following five steps.

1. Breathe

Believe it or not, breathing solves problems. A simple deep breath in can calm you down instantly. So why is it that when we’re stressed we hold our breath? Being stressed fogs our minds to the point where we forget to take a step back and breathe. Before we know it, we feel lightheaded because we haven’t taken a breath in five minutes. Which causes us to stress out even more. But, getting rid of your stress is as simple as breathing. In order to conquer the world, we need to calm down and I mean seriously calm down. So the first step in making stress productive is breathing. When you start to feel stressed take a five-minute breathing break.

My favorite way to do this is using Headspace.

Note: I am in no way, shape, or form affiliated with Headspace. This is simply my opinion and what works for me

Headspace is an app that helps you with meditation. You can either use it for a couple of minutes or hours, depending on how deep a meditation you want. I prefer to do at least 5 minutes but you can use it for more. They have so many different categories from ‘stress & anxiety’ to ‘physical health’.

I definitely recommend downloading Headspace for those moments when stress is controlling you.

2. Identify

Next step is to identify the stressor. Like I said before, stress can be caused by anything and in order to overcome it, you must understand it. To do this, you’ll need to take a step back and think when exactly did you start feeling stressed. Think about the things you did during the day and how they made you feel. Once you get to the moment that annoyed you, you’ll know what caused you to stress out. With this knowledge in mind, you’re ready to take your next step: conquering.

3. Conquer

Now that you identified your stressor, it’s time to work on conquering your mind so that you’re able to conquer your stressor. It’s so easy to think of the negative and it’s so easy to feel negative emotions. What’s not easy is being productive and proactive. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times: YOU control everything that goes on in your life. You control the way you think, feel, and react. Not your family, not your friends, not the situation… YOU. Therefore, it is up to you to conquer the things life puts in your path.

You need to transform your mentality from “I can’t” to “I can”. A lot of our stress is caused by SELF-doubt and SELF-hate.

Therefore, in order to overcome stress, you must first learn to love yourself and believe in yourself. Once you start doing that you become unstoppable and stress can no longer control you.

2019 completely turned my life around. Once I changed my mentality and began to love myself and believe in myself, I eliminated the chances of feeling stressed. I conquered my mind and shifted my thoughts from negative to positive. Which resulted in me achieving my goals and living my best life each and every day.

You can do this too!! Every day look yourself in the mirror and say “I can”. Whenever a negative thought pops into your head transform it into something positive. Go after the things you want in life.

And watch the 360 spin your life makes.

4. Create

Don’t worry guys, we’re almost there. Our next step to productively manage stress is to create. Create lists, create schedules, create the life you’ve always envisioned. Creating eliminates any stress that might arise from indecision. Think about it:

When you don’t know what to wear, you start to feel stressed because time is running out and nothing makes sense.

Trying to choose what to eat causes you to stress out because there are so many options, leading you to be indecisive.

Figuring out which assignment to start first and how to do it… S T R E S S

But, if you create lists and schedules, and eliminate choices, you eliminate any future stress.

Every week create an in-depth schedule of what you want your days to look like and the goals you want to accomplish.

Every day make lists of the things that need to get done on that specific day.

But here’s the kicker, you must be as specific as possible. For example:

If you have an English essay due in two weeks, don’t just put on your schedule ‘write an essay’. Instead, write down, “start my first two pages on my 8-page Shakespeare assignment, due May 21, in which I will discuss the turning point of the story.” Be specific. Being specific will save you so much time because you will no longer stare at your screen trying to figure out what to do.

5. Execute

Last but not least, you must execute. Words without execution are just letters. Goals without execution are just dreams. Plans without execution are just ideas.

I have a firm belief in actions speak louder than words. You can create all the lists and schedules you want, but if you’re not actually doing them, what was the point?

Not accomplishing your goals or tasks causes stress as well. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s completely okay to relax and take time to yourself. But, too much of it is not okay. We want to be productive.

Therefore, it is time to execute. Complete that English assignment, finish going over those files for your boss, go to that class you’ve been avoiding. E.X.E.C.U.T.E.

Final Thoughts

Breathe, identify, conquer, create, and execute. Five simple steps to productively manage and eliminate your stress.

It’s time that we stop complaining about our stress and actually get things done. I told you guys that 2019 is going to be different for all of us, and it’s going to be. It’s time to turn our stress into productivity, positivity, and profit.

We have absolutely no time to let stress control our lives. So what are you waiting for? Take control of your life NOW.

Until next time,

Stay vibrant & embrace the gray.

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