Stress is something everyone has to deal with from time to time.
It's a recurring feeling that can overwhelm you, and it has the ability to freeze whatever progress you've made. But knowing how to reduce and manage your stress is important to your mental and emotional well-being, and not dealing with it properly can even have physiological side effects.
The Effects of Stress on the Body
Stress can affect your body in several ways, from causing hormonal imbalances to physical symptoms. Stress can even affect the health of your skin. Here are just a few of the other effects stress can have if you don't properly manage it:
- Chest pain or heartburn
- Frustration or quickness to anger
- Desire to avoid others
- Low self-esteem
How to Manage Your Stress
Sometimes, dealing with stress means taking a break from the world, treating your body and mind right, connecting with others or getting mental health. But when your stress involves an individual goal, there are some specific ways you can deal with it effectively.
A common cause of stress is feeling as though a certain goal is too unattainable, whether that means feeling that the path to success is too difficult or that you don't have enough time to achieve the goal.
Whether your goal is weight loss, a work project, or a school assignment, there are steps you can take to stay on track and avoid becoming stressed.
Put the Situation in Perspective
Take a step back and look at the situation you're in now. It doesn't matter if you're at the beginning and don't know where to start or if you're in the middle and don't know where to go next. Break down your goal into individual parts to make it seem smaller. This will help you realize that the smaller steps are much easier to achieve than the larger overall goal. Dividing your goal in this way will create a list of smaller steps for you to achieve the ultimate goal.
Devise a Plan of Attack
Defining a way to reach those small goals is easier than dealing with the large one all at once. Know what each step is asking you to do and what it will take to reach that goal. Create a time frame in which to reach these goals; this will give you structure and a set plan to fall back on.
Be Reasonable with Your Goals
Don't bite off more than you can chew. Know what your limits are and what you can reasonably attain with each step. Giving yourself goals that you know you cannot reach in your time frame will only discourage you further. Be reasonable with yourself and start off small, and once you gain more momentum, you can give yourself more to handle.
Give It Time
You may not achieve your goals overnight. Give yourself time to succeed, and don't worry if progress seems slow. Planning, patience, and consistency are the three best treatments to reduce and manage your stress.