I have lots of experience with stress. In negative ways, but also in positive ways. Stress doesn’t always have to be a bad thing, but you have to be careful to keep a good balance between good and bad stress and take your moments to relax. And when things do get out of hand, you have to be able to recognize the fact that you’re stressed out and do something about it. In this post, I’ll share with you some of my experiences with stress and what I do to get rid of it or how I use it to my benefit.
Whether you like stress or not, differs per person. I know people who cannot deal with stress whatsoever. The minute a single ounce of pressure comes their way things start to go wrong and they simply stop functioning. If you are one of these people I suggest that you try to stay away from stress and stressful situations. If stress has such a strong effect on you, it’d be better to avoid it as much as you can rather than putting yourself in that situation.
Then there are people like me, who need a healthy dose of stress to function normally. I find I work better if there’s some pressure that is making me do something. Whether it’s a deadline or a stressful conversation: these situations cause me to thrive rather than have a complete nervous breakdown. If you are like me, it is very important to keep the stress levels in your life balanced, because too much of it will turn you into a nervous wreck eventually. Trust me, I learned that the hard way, but I will blog about that at a later date.
One thing that you have to know about yourself is how much stress you can handle. Practically this means that you have to find your boundaries. The way to do this is by simply throwing yourself out there and doing what you have to do. Just make sure to measure the amount of time it takes to recuperate afterwards. Did it take long to let things slide? Then it may be that you’ve caused yourself too much stress and you would be better of handling things differently next time.
Usually though, stress doesn’t happen overnight or because of one stressful task. It’s usually something that happens over time: it’s one giant chain of stressful situations linked together. It is something that happens structurally and when that is the case, you have to be even more careful. Rule number one is that you listen to your body. Is your body telling you no? Then don’t do it. Stop. Delegate your tasks. Take a break. Listen to Music. Dance. Punch a wall. Do… well something. Relax. Not recognizing the fact that you are suffering from stress will lead to more stress which makes you even more stressed out which leads to more stress etc. You just end up with a vicious circle that will be hard to get out of. If you would like to know how I relax, then you can read this post which I wrote a few weeks ago.
Yet, the effects of stress, even though caused by more and more stress accumulating in your body, may hit you suddenly. After a certain amount of time your body will simply stop to cooperate. It will make you feel tired, sick (feels like a flu, yet not), makes your muscles tense and your stomach will do flip flops even when you’re eating as much as a carrot. It will most likely also give you sleepless nights to the extend that you feel butt tired, yet cannot sleep a wink’s eye. If any of these symptoms are you at this point of time, make sure to go see your doctor as soon as possible and take a few sick days until it’s over. The main thing you need now is rest.
The next step is to talk about it. With friends, your boy/girlfriend/significant other, family and of course with the source of your stress. In my case, that is usually work. Say it, talk things through and try to find a solution that suits both you. Propose this solution with a thorough explanation to whoever/whatever it is that is causing you stress. In other words: try to do something about it. If you don’t do anything about it, it will just continue right back up once you’re back from sick leave. It’s work-related and you can’t talk about it with your boss? Leave your job. If you can’t talk about these things than it’s not worth staying around.
So there you go, my tips and tricks for dealing with stress as well as some of the effects it may have on you. I sincerely hope this was helpful for you. I learned this the hard way and I’m still learning every day.
Q: Do you get stressed out easily?