I am stressed. If you are reading this you probably are too. I am going through changes at work that are giving me more responsibilities and as such I am massively afraid of failing. I have also had a complete change in schedule as I have started shift work, including night shifts. Any routine that I had is gone the way of the Dodo.
When we think of stress, we think of the negative, the anxiety, the worry and all the other reactions that we have when presented with stressful situations. However, stress is necessary for growth and development, without it we would stagnate. So it isn't entirely negative and a slight change in how we view stress can help it become more manageable. I know when I heard that stress leads to growth, it gave me some relief and I hope you feel the same way.
Stress will lead to problems when we don't take the time to unwind. Chronic stress can lead to numerous problems such as heart disease, depression and being a total bore (only joking). Managing stress early on prevents positive stress (reaching deadlines, starting a new job etc.) from becoming negative stress (anxiety, lack of sleep etc.) and having a damaging effect on our performance and relationships. In short stress sucks, but what can we do about it?
I am someone who worries about the "what-ifs", I like to come up with terrible scenarios to potential problems in my head and let them play out. This is me stressing out about something that hasn't even happened yet. When I write it down, it seems ridiculous because how can I focus so much energy on something that might not happen. By thinking about the reasons this terrible thing might not happen or the advantages it can bring can turn this around.
In a high pressure situation I rely heavily on humour, this helps me cope with the situation. Even watching epic fail videos or some Mamrie Hart on YouTube gives me a lift and helps me get out of my head.
Spend time on the things you enjoy doing, these are usually the first thing to get put on the back burner when you are stressed. Go to a pilates class, write a blog or go sing karaoke. Whatever you need to do to let off some steam.
If it is all getting too much don't be afraid to have a cry and remember there are always people to talk to, your doctor, HR representative or occupational health nurse.
Let me know how you deal with stress in the comments. Are you stressed out too?