How people experience stress (Online Stress Test) is very personal but it’s critical not to let stress take over your life. What for one person is a motivating and exhilarating level of pressure, can be completely excruciating for another. Universally, there is a point for everyone where stress becomes damaging to both physical and mental health. At some point stress really does take over your life.
Stress Taking Over Your Life
We have become so used to living with high levels and different types of stress that it can, sometimes, be difficult to recognise how much of it is healthy. People can continue, sometimes for years on end, to live with extreme stress without realising how much of an impact it is having on their peace of mind. With many people negotiating long working hours, heavy workloads and the demands of family life, being worried and strained is perceived as fairly normal.
There are some tell-tale signs, however, that this stress has gone beyond anything you can be reasonably expected to manage. This may be realising that you have developed unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as drinking alcohol (Alcoholism Test) or smoking, which you can’t function without. You may be unable to sleep, chew your nails with anxiety or feel constantly unwell. Whatever it is that alerts you to the issue, here are some ways to stop stress from taking over your life.
Stop Stress from Taking Over Your Life
Firstly, to stop stress from taking over your life, you need to recognise the source of your stress. Keeping a stress diary, including how you felt and what triggered these feelings, is a great way to pinpoint this. It’s hard to think clearly if your mind is in a constant state of disquiet, so the act of writing down your feelings could lead you to some surprising realisations.
Once you are aware of what stresses you out, you can see if it’s possible to change it. Is it an untenable working situation that can only be solved by making plans to leave? Or perhaps you need more support in your family life. If it’s a problem that you can’t solve, (many people aren’t in the position to leave their job, for example) you can try to reduce the impact it’s having on your life.
Time management is one way to stop stress leaking into the time wherein you should be relaxing. Setting a deadline, after which you don’t allow yourself to work, will help you prioritize your workload and accept that, sometimes, it’s impossible to get everything done.
Fitting meditation into your day can also help. When we are constantly stressed, our brain’s “fight or flight” response, which is triggered by a part of the brain called the amygdala, responds to all sorts of everyday occurrences as if they are a potentially life threatening situation and generates a hormonal response to deal with it. Meditation helps counteract this, by both reducing the hormones produced and calming down the amygdala, letting you think clearly, rationally and without panic.
This article was written by:
Holly Ashby is a writer and illustrator who works for Will Williams Meditation, a meditation center that provides meditation classes in London, Brighton and Geneva, helping people let go of negativity and low self-esteem through the practice of Vedic meditation. Find Holly on Twitter.
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