Every day we experience positive and negative stress. The positive stressors are good but the negative ones - not so good. Some of those negative ones are within our reach to control and change. Two stressors that you can do something about are those that cause you to feel overwhelmed and living a frenetic life.
In this article we peel back the stress onion on these two stressors and find out how they activate your levels of stress and what you can do about them.
What happens when you are feeling overwhelmed and frenzied?
Living a frenzied life actually causes you to be overwhelmed, and if you are living a frenzied life consistently you are constantly peeling that layer of the stress onion leaving you in a relentless state of stress. This is called distress and it is not good for your body, mind or soul.
When you are on the go all the time your body suffers. What you need to do is take a break, giving some space for you to calm your mind and slow down the body, giving you time to refuel your tank with fresh energy.
So, if your life is on this hectic pace, it’s time to do something to reduce your stress and feel less overwhelmed.
What can you do about it?
While there are some things outside of your control there are a number of things you can do to help calm yourself and reduce your stress.
Start with your priorities.
Write out a list of everything you need to do. Don’t worry at this time whether they are important or not. Just get them down. Once you are satisfied that you dumped everything that is on your mind onto the paper, go through your list and prioritize in descending order. You may find some are unimportant and shouldn’t be there, others you can delegate to someone else (even home things if you have children or other helpers) and others you can defer to another day. If you are deferring things to a later date then decide when you will do them and put them into your calendar for another day.
Next, get organized.
Being organized can greatly reduce your stress. Take your calendar, color code it for certain tasks, work in 60 or 90-minute stretches. If you are a morning person put the difficult tasks in the morning and leave the easier ones for the afternoon. If you are an afternoon person reverse the order. Make sure you allot sufficient time to get things done.
Prioritizing and calendaring will help you feel less frenzied and overwhelmed.
One other thing. Ask for help. You can do this at home or at the office. It is amazing how people will respond when they see you overwhelmed.
Delegate whenever you can.
You got to know when to “hold them, fold them or let them go.” Hold them when you have prioritized them. Fold them when you have detailed when you will carry them out? Let them go when you know you need to. It’s this last one that often is the most difficult. You have to “let go” when stress affects your health.
Letting go often means delegating to others so that the frenzied part of your life is minimized, and you are feeling less overwhelmed.
In a nutshell the art of delegating to others simply means you allow others to do some of the work for you so you can concentrate on the important tasks and areas of your life. Think of it as teamwork.
Delegating to others can occur in the home such as: delegating chores to others, carpooling your kids to sports, dance, or other activities, and sharing doing the dishes. There are many tasks that you can delegate around the home.
If you are operating a home office – think of delegating some activities to others through outsourcing or handing off some responsibilities to your young or teenage children such as shredding paper, emptying waste baskets, answering telephones, or delivering products.
Delegating when you work outside the home is another matter. We will review that at another time.
Live in the Moment
When things are swirling around you and you seem to be off balance take a few moments to be in the moment. Close your eyes, take a few deep breathes and relax your body - let your shoulders slump, relax your head and neck, drop your hands or fold them comfortably in your lap, and relax your legs. For the next few minutes just "be" and not "do". You can make this a spiritual moment for you and say a simple prayer, like "Father, help me change the things that are in my control, and let go of the rest," or whatever prayer comes to mind in this moment of quietude.
What’s this all about Anyway?
Think of it this way. Stress kills. Stress can cause heart attacks, strokes, and gastric issues. There are studies that show that it also kills brain cells.
Minimizing stress will help you to focus, think straight, sleep better and in general live healthier. It can lessen your anxiety, live with greater balance, and improve your relationships. So, why not try lessening your stress with the few suggestions outlined in this article. It may simply mean you will live longer and healthier. Not a bad outcome.
The bottom line is that we all deal with stress each and every day of our lives, but if we let it build up it could cause serious problems. Experiencing constant feelings of being overwhelmed and living a fast-paced frenzied lifestyle are two of the biggest stressors in our lives. The good news is that they can be controlled and managed, but it takes commitment and practice.
I hope this short article helps you reduce your stress by prioritizing, organizing, delegating, and living in the moment.
Please stay safe and healthy and remember your personal growth and development matters.
Oh by the way, you may want to take my Masterclass on Stress Management found under the Storefront Tab, or join FORTIS MEMBERSHIP which has numerous videos, e-Books and other resources for your personal growth and development.
Thank you for reading,
Richard P. Fontanie