Stress can take a toll on your body. It can give you shoulder pain, make you grind your teeth, and cause stomach aches. We might not even express the stress externally but our bodies deal with it internally causing us harm. I didn’t even realize I was stressed until the doctor told me it was the reason I was grinding my teeth. My body was taking out its stress while I was sleeping. Sometimes, I would wake up with my hands crunched and nail marks inside. So what did I do to work on the stress? Let’s talk about how to handle stress.
Now you might think the opposite of stress is calm. But the opposite of stress is trust. Trusting that the process will work out. Trusting the people around you. Having faith in the Universe or God that is what helps to release stress.
Now if you are a manager or run a business and do all the tasks yourself you will be stressed. Instead, you can delegate and trust the people around you to be able to achieve the same tasks. They might not do the exact job you would have done but is that necessary? Does everything have to be perfect and exactly tailored to your needs or is there some room for innovation and change done by the people that work for you? Think about these things as they can help reduce your stress.
Believing in something
So in normal life what exactly does trust mean. It is trusting things will work out at the end of the day. As a Muslim, my mom often tells me to do the hard work and then leave it up to God. Now you might not believe in God but if there is anything you believe in it could just be the power of the Universe you can leave it up to that thing. In life, we don’t have control over most things. If you are giving a test you can practice but you aren’t going to know the exact questions that are going to come up or how your brain is going to function on that day. Those things are out of your control but those are things that we end up fretting about.
Trusting that the Universe or God won’t give you something you can’t handle and has your best interest at heart. That doesn’t mean things won’t get hard it is going to get super tough but you can handle it and learn from it. Now in the moment or future, even some things won’t make sense why they happened. But trusting there is a reason behind it even if doesn’t make sense. Religion might not be for everyone but that hope and faith are what help people in the tough moments.
Praying in any form can help with this and bring that peace you need when stressed. If you don’t have to control everything and let go, truly believing that can lift a weight off your shoulder.
Our body reaction was to pump adrenaline when we actually were in danger. But now we aren’t in danger but that is still happening because we have progressed so much. Our body now takes underthings to mean DANGER, DANGER, DANGER! Things that aren’t dangerous and we need to change the dialect so our mind and body can understand.
How you react is what causes you stress. If for example, someone says something and I find it rude it is in my control to respond in an aggressive manner or calmy. How we choose to react is what causes stress. We make up situations in our heads of why we think the other person did something based on assumptions and we respond based on that. But what if the other person never meant that?
We might have a messy room and be fine with it. But one day we might look at the messy room and think our life is falling apart. The room is the same but our reaction has changed. So, what we need to focus on is changing our response.
When do you get stressed?
In the moment I get stressed and don’t even realize is when I am in a grocery line and it is taking me long to pack up my things. I start getting mad at the person with me. It is because I think the person behind me is judging me and is in a hurry and I need to do this fast. It is a part of people-pleasing and because I tell myself that oh the person thinks I’m not worthy.
But think about it this small moment of packing my grocery is causing me stress but is the other person even giving it a second thought. I am creating all these scenarios in my head and getting stressed out while the person behind me is probably not even thinking anything. And even if he is that one moment what difference is it making to my life. These are the type of situations where we are creating stress for ourselves. So when you get stressed about little things ask yourself what is really behind the stress. What is causing a reaction in you? Is it something that is warranted?
Learning what is causing you the stress and knowing you have the power to change it can be very empowering.
Take a moment
Between something occurring and us responding there is a moment. That is the moment we can take control of the situation. Now imagine someone says something you consider snarky. Take a moment and then respond. In that moment you have taken the control into your own hands and can decide how you want to react. For me, in that moment I just get rude back but that is the choice I have to work on changing. I can deescalate the situation and have the control to do that.
We don’t have the control over other people’s actions but we have full control of our own actions. So let’s take back the control and decrease the stress in our lives.
Is it stress?
Sometimes, we get confused and name other emotions as stress. We attribute sadness, anger, boredom, and everything else as stress. So try identifying your emotions. When was the last time you felt stressed? Do those emotions align with some other feelings?
Let’s change the dialect on stress
Let’s change the view we have on stress. When your heart beats faster and sweat take that as your body getting energized. Changing this dialect can alter how you experience stress. Because let’s face it there is going to be some sort of stress in our lives so change the experience you are having by telling yourself that your body is getting energized.
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