Nobody likes having to deal with stress on a daily basis. Most of the time, anyone with an ounce of sanity left in their body will always choose to avoid any stressful situations at any cost, which is why we’ve decided to write this short article for you. Here we will be discussing and presenting you with all of the information that you need in order to manage your stress levels better. This article includes answers to questions such as “What is stress?” and “How can we avoid stress-inducing situations?” while also providing you with activities that you can occupy your free time in order to avoid stress build-up. So, without further ado, let’s answer the first question that we get asked most of the time, aka “What is stress in the first place?”
Stress: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
When you think about stress you most likely think about it in a negative way, don’t you? Well, we’re here to tell you that stress is not always a bad thing. First and foremost, stress is a feeling that we get when things are getting a bit too intense for our own liking. This most likely means that you’re in over your head and that you’re not able to process everything that you have on your plate at the moment. For example, if you have to deal with multiple projects at the same time and you find out that your partner is no longer able to commit himself/herself to the job anymore. That feeling of helplessness and complete exposure to the mental/physical attack is unbelievably hard to deal with. But that’s not what the emotion was made for originally.
Back in the old days of Neanderthal humans, stress was a sort of a “Spider-sense” that would work in our favor in order to make sure that we knew that we were in over our heads and that our lives were at stake at that point. As a result, most of us were literally forced by our bodies to choose one of three options: Fight, Flee, or Freeze. Couple this with the fact that our bodies would start pumping out adrenaline and you have one ferocious beast with one single purpose in life: Survive. But alas, we are no longer Neanderthals, quite the contrary actually. Stress has gained quite a negative connotation because it literally only does one thing anymore: Make things harder for us but it’s very important to manage your stress.
Yes, that’s right, stress has started as one of our survival kit’s most valuable tools, and yet it became one of our most deadly handicaps. Most of us are no longer as fearless as we used to be, quite the contrary actually. We are but shadows of our past versions that would fight for the right to survive on a daily basis. Since our lives are so disconnected from the wildlife we tend to choose one of the other two options most of the time, aka Flee or Freeze. If we’re lucky enough to manage to choose the first option then we’ll most likely get out with our pride unscathed, but the problem is that most of the time we can’t help but freeze in place and stand there, ready to absorb any damage we get.
But stress is a lot more than that. Some people, albeit a more remote number of people, tend to be able to use stress to their advantage and progress as a result of that special skill. Instead of fleeing or freezing, they take it as a challenge and end up improving as a result. Although this doesn’t work for everyone, there are still plenty of people that can be added to this category.
But anyway, that’s the history of stress as a whole. It can be good, it can be bad, and it can sure as hell be ugly, but if we can use it to our advantage we can definitely improve as a whole. So, without delving even farther into the rabbit hole, let’s concentrate on another important aspect regarding stress, aka how to avoid it in the first place.
Avoiding the Unavoidable
Yes, most of the time stress is unavoidable, but the thing is that we never actually try to prevent it which leads to way more stress as a result of our poor planning. So, the truth is that even though sometimes stress build-up is unstoppable, we can work our way through avoiding most of it and diminishing the impact of the unavoidable one. Yep, it sounds a bit confusing, so let’s explain this better with the following examples:
Live a more active life
Let’s be honest here, the more stressful people are the less active they are in their spare time. This is why we need to work on maintaining that sweaty lifestyle until we have no reason to actually complain anymore. Exercising can be its own reward but let’s be honest here, the more active we are, the less time we spend overthinking things. Now, we don’t mean that you should go the steroid route, quite the contrary actually. We just mean a jog every morning coupled with maybe going to the gym every 2 days or so while also drinking lots of water and maybe even picking up a dancing class or such. Whatever makes you happy is going to be worth it in the end, don’t forget that.
You know the saying “Can’t think straight without a good meal?” Well, this is 100% the truth since the less healthy we are when it comes to our nutrition the more likely we are to be stressed out of our minds. This is why maintaining a healthy lifestyle is such a good idea for your mind and body. You can even try to go for a vegan/vegetarian lifestyle, but don’t consider it a requirement.
Whatever you eat, make sure that it’s healthy enough to keep your body energized and happy throughout the day. Vegan/vegetarian options are always a good choice to make, even if you don’t necessarily plan on going down that route. A vegan burger is better than no burger, although nobody will complain if you treat yourself with a sandwich every now and then, as long as it’s not fast food.
The more time you spend with your friends and family, the more relaxed you’ll be which is why this is so important. Call your parents and tell them that you love them if you have a significant other then make sure that you take them out tonight, buy them flowers, even if you’re not usually the one giving out the presents. Keep your friends close and your family even closer and you’ll be living out your days stress-free, unless of course family has some ties to your stress, in which case it’s best to concentrate on your friends and significant other.
Yep, this is a weird one, but we can’t argue with the results. As long as you let yourself know that you’re doing okay, that you look your best and that you don’t need to put yourself down anymore you should be able to avoid stress most of the time. So, for this exercise, go to the closest mirror you can find and look at yourself in the mirror. Instead of picking everything apart, how about complimenting yourself for once?
Is your hair looking better today than it usually does? Whatever you can find, say it to yourself. You would be shocked to find out how many people tend to ignore their positives and instead concentrate on the negative parts of their lives. Don’t let yourself become a victim of your own self-consciousness issues. Fight through by complimenting yourself on a daily basis.