by Carmen Jacob
Stress is as if you are going to the shop and buy two pounds of sugar and then, go home on foot. The first few yards, your bag is two pounds; but after a while, it seems heavier and heavier. Your hands start hurting, and your mind begins to bully you: “Why did you buy so much sugar? It is heavy and unhealthy. Why didn’t you buy two apples or candy?” The longer you go, the heavier your bag feels and the more you are hurting, the more you are bullying yourself.
And that is stress! Taking a load on your shoulders and going with it until you can’t bear it any longer. You don’t see a way out because your mind is already occupied with too many things.
Because stress doesn’t give you time to pause and think, it is better to be prepared, to have a ready-made strategy for such moments.
5 ways to get out of a stressful situation:
1.Leave aside those things that are not important to solve the situation
Stay focused on your goal and don’t allow yourself to worry about things that can’t help you to solve the issue.
Take things one at the time. Have a to-do list and go through it, point by point. It doesn’t matter how many other things you need to do, take on just one thing at the time.
2. Take a moment to breathe
If the situation allows you, take a moment to relax and regroup because stress is cornering you and takes the bigger picture from you. You might be slipping into tunnel vision, and everything seems a much bigger problem than what it is.
3. You are strong and capable enough to solve the issue
Remind yourself that, as you’ve done in the past, you can solve the obstacle that is staying now in your way. Don’t wait until you feel confident or motivated. Make a step! The easiest step that takes you closer to the result you want. Once you make the first step, your confidence and motivation are raising automatically.
Believe in yourself and move forward. Prove to yourself, with each step you make, that you can because to be confident about something, you need first to prove yourself. Start walking and your confidence will join you along the way.
4. Correct your mistakes and move on
Stop judging or blaming yourself. If your friends are asking for help or advice when they’ve made a mistake, I guess you don’t start telling them that is their fault; but, instead, you come up with ideas and ways to correct the mistake. Are you not?
Therefore, if you can do it for others, you can do it for yourself as well.
There are enough people around you ready to point out your imperfections, mistakes, and shortcomings, no need for you to do it too.
Show yourself compassion and understanding. Yes, maybe you are not the best at everything and yes, sometimes you are making mistakes. However, that is how you learn, how you grow and evolve.
5. Concentrate on the present moment, and the future not the past
Be assertive with yourself and stay in the present moment, on the task at hand.
Every time you notice you’ve gone back to overthinking the situation or judging and blaming yourself, simply, take a moment of silence and then get back on track.
It is like placing a child in time-out. Every time the child leaves the time-out spot before the alarm goes off, take the child and put him back on the spot without a single word.
This technique works as long as you don’t have a debate with the child or, even worse, a tug war about who is right or wrong and whose fault is it.
Give yourself one single task to complete. When you go off track: notice, free yourself from negative emotions through a moment of silence and peace and get back to your task. It doesn’t matter what happened in the past. It doesn’t matter if you didn’t succeed. At this moment in time, you are a different person, more wise, more knowledgeable. And in the future, you will be even more skilled. Stay in the present moment.
Remember: any load you take on your shoulders, after keeping it there for a few minutes becomes heavier and heavier and you might feel overwhelmed and unable to think straight. Don’t allow things to pile up in your mind. Take one task at the time because a feather has the same weight no matter how long you have to carry it.
Carmen Jacob is the co-founder of https://selfimprovement.org. Her mission in life is to help as many people as possible to improve the quality of their life and be the best they can be.