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How To Stay Positive In Stressful Situations

How To Stay Positive In Stressful Situations

Sometimes nothing seems to turn out the way you had planned, no matter how hard you attempt. Regardless of where the stress is stemming from, it is essential to equip yourself with resources to rise above the negativity and stay positive. Maintaining a positive attitude can help alleviate stress and assist in accomplishing your objectives. When you feel like you have hit a dead end, and start to sense any negativity, stop! Here are a few tips on how to remain positive even when you are in challenging situations.

Count your blessings

Regardless how rough things are, if you think about it, you have lots of things to be grateful for. Whether it’s having a job when a lot of people are jobless, having a supportive family, or simply being in a good health. By revisiting everything you have in your life, you can’t hold on to the negativities. You will feel confident, proud and positive. There are countless things in your life that you can be thankful about.

Reward yourself

When you achieve something, regardless of how little it is, pat yourself in the back for the job well done. The list of ways that you can reward yourself is endless. You can reward yourself with new opportunities to explore something new or to learn something new. You can even take your friends out for coffee. A positive attitude can hardly arise if you don’t even feel great about yourself.

Exercise regularly
Another great way to manage stress and remain positive is by exercising on a regular basis. If you don’t exercise, try to find something that you enjoy doing such as swimming, biking, playing golf, playing tennis, or going for a walk. Breathing exercise can also help alleviate stress. Breathing has been proven to help manage stress, and can help a lot in countless situations.

Take time out
If all you think about is work, you can easily be overwhelmed by stress. Be sure to give yourself time off and read a book, listen to music or do whatever it is that you find relaxing. You can also go out with your family and friends. This will help you remain focused and positive when you are on your work station. You will ultimately thank yourself for it.

There you have it! How to always stay positive in a challenging environment. While you will not alleviate stress overnight, following these simple steps will help you develop and maintain a good attitude about your family, your work and your life.

3 top ways to reduce everyday stress

Learning how to deal with stress is something that everybody needs to know. Even our health can suffer the effects of stress which can also make it difficult to think clearly enough to solve even the simplest task. The good news is that there are simple easy techniques for reducing your stress which we will cover here in this article.

As more studies show the link between stress and many health problems, stress management becomes an important consideration for many people. These 3 top stress management ways can help you to reduce the levels of stress in your life, so make good use of them.

Massage

Go get a massage, this is the first method for reducing and managing stress levels. Massage has often been thought of as a great way to relieve sore muscles, but it can also reduce overall body tension, anxiety and stress too. There are a lot of studies that prove massage is a great way to reduce stress when done regularly. There are many different types of massage, so you should try several kinds and find the one that you prefer.

Nowadays it’s not usually hard to find qualified massage therapists. Massage can release endorphins in the brain which produce pleasure which is helpful in not only stress reduction but also helpful for emotional issues such as anxiety and depression to name a few.

Relaxation Techniques

We have all already probably heard of various methods of relaxation. Some of the most popular methods are basic mediation and the various forms of yoga. You can attend online or actual classes to learn the different parts of these methods so you can learn to relax. There are also other options to these major relaxation techniques. A simpler and more straightforward option would be to learn deep breathing techniques. You can use these even when you are seated in your work station. Progressive muscle relaxation and mental imagery are also possible basic techniques you can use against stress.

Exercising on Schedule

It’s just like what your physical education teacher always said. Maintaining a regular exercise schedule can do wonders for your body. The major benefit of exercise is that it can encourage the proper circulation of your blood. This in turn ensures that oxygen and nutrients reach the various cells in your body. You need these if you ever hope to fight the bad effects of stress on your health.

You’ve now heard only a few of the most effective stress management tips available there are still other ways to approach the management of your overall stress including enough sleep and eating health. What causes your stress can be as important as treating it so you need to know what that is. Stress management can take many forms, and the methods you use will depend on your circumstances and what you prefer.

How to Use the 80/20 Principle to Reduce Stress

The 80/20 rule popularly known as the Pareto Principle was born by an Italian, Vifredo Pareto, after observing that approximately 20% of the people living in Italy owned an astonishing 80% of wealth. It reflected a simple symmetry of inequality then, and the principle gradually spread to other areas of life, particularly stress relief. According to Pareto, the majority of any output comes from the minority of any input.

From a wellness perspective 80% of your health problems will come from 20% of the lifestyle choices you make. Smoking for example, is a small thing that causes many people several health problems. When it comes to stress something that seems trivial would be enough to trigger major problems in some people. Someone might say something about your appearance thinking it’s a joke but if you take it to heart, chances are that it will weigh down on your mind.

To deal with the negative thoughts you will probably run to the pub for a drink but end up spending money that was meant for your bills. Later you might have to lie and the domino effect of stress continues. Depression easily steals 80% of one’s quality of life and most often, we fail to realize that its root cause is not what people say but low self-esteem. Simply working on your confidence would in this case be the 20% you need to do to avoid stress.

In today’s society, people with depression or ADHD quickly turn to drugs in a bid to manage the situation but if you were to follow the 80/20 principle, that is a drastic turn. Attention deficit problems, stress and depression are usually as a result of lifestyle choices so the simple solution would be making changes the foods you eat, how you work out and improve your outlook on life.

Anyone can use Pareto’s principle to reduce stress especially during this festive season when there are countless matters to attend to. Try making two columns of things that brings you stress and those that bring you joy. If for example you find that shopping causes you a great deal of anxiety, have someone else do it for you so you can focus on activities that bring happiness.

Trying to impress others is one of the reasons why many people feel dejected, rejected and unwanted. In line with Pareto’s principle you should protect the 80% that encompasses happiness and wellbeing by invoking positive thoughts and embracing simple solutions to seemingly big problems.

How to Live in the NOW

Many people live in the future. Why? Most people have a future that doesn’t mirror their present so they’d rather be in the future. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing because Law of Attraction states, “…that which you give your attention to will manifest in your life.” However, staying in the future means your present is passing you by. The following are some ways to help you live in the now and live a happy life without stress.

1. Don’t think about it.

Your goal is to stop thinking all the time. Go write down things that pop in your mind, this could be exams that are coming up or that visit to grandpa in a few weeks. Then cross off the ones that you are happy about. The first kiss with your lover can be a great memory that you might want to remind yourself of sometimes. Now you’ve a list of bad things you think about all the time. Because you want to stop thinking about them simply make a pact with yourself to do something stupid each time your head wanders off to one of the subjects on your list. This can be shaking your head really hard or even do 3 push-ups. Warning: Be reasonable and always try to forget if it comes up again.

2. Do Yoga and exercises.

Doing daily exercising will get you in great shape and stops your head from wandering off. Don’t say to yourself I can’t exercise until I finished this, because that’s exactly what you want to get rid of.

3. Avoid daily routine

We like to plan our days so that we don’t hit any surprises. But there’s nothing wrong with some variation or on-the-fly decisions. Donate a dollar to the collector in front of your grocery story. Smile randomly when you see a new store opening up or a beautiful tree. They’re resources you can use for a very long time. You can visit the store to buy new things, and the tree will always be there for your viewing pleasure – and oxygen.

4. The past and future is a reflection of the present.

The most important thing is to do good in the present. Great memories will bloom and future health and wealth can be created. With that in mind it’s only natural to be your best in the present. Really enjoy what you’re doing. Writing or watching television; find the good things in your current activity. It’s the only thing you should worry about.

5. If you don’t like the present, change it.

You can’t change the past but you can change the future. And that’s most important. If you’re not happy with something in your life currently then change it. Want to be a architect? Go study architecture. Feeling lonely? Make a MySpace profile and meet new people. The only thing that is important is that your happy about the present. Only then your future is as bright as can be.

Practice living in the now and know that by accessing the power of now, you can enjoy even more success than ever before.

5 Tips For Reducing Work Stress

Whether you hold a full-time job or work as a freelancer, work from office or work from home, stress is a real issue that every working professional has to deal with sooner or later. As the work culture gets increasingly complicated and employees are expected to work more for less; it’s now more important than ever to find your own recluse.

Relax, if you’ve been feeling stressed out lately from all the workload, just follow these simple tips for a quick fix.

Tips to reduce work stress

1. Listen to music: If your workplace permits listening to music during working hours, plug-in the headphones and tune in for some light, acoustic music. Not only does relaxing music ease your brain by taking away stress, but it can also give you some much-needed motivation to complete the tasks in hand. Classical symphonies, relaxing OSTs and acoustic sound all work wonders.

2. Take a break: With the constant pressure coming from the weight of the world around us, it’s quite easy to feel bogged down and depressed. This is why one must break away from work life once in a while even if it sounds implausible. A break can give you a fresh perspective on things and how to get things done, which is essential for career growth and success. Don’t be afraid; just take a break and go someplace where you always wanted to go before.

3. Smile and laugh a lot: Now before you brand us crazy for asking you to laugh for no reason, just hear us out. Science has found that our mental health and brain function is interconnected to facial expressions. When people feel stressed out, a lot of stress is held in their facial muscles, so smiles and laughs can relieve some of that held tension and make you feel relaxed.

4. Exercise: No, we’re not going ask you to abandon work to visit the gym for a 40-minute lifting session. All you have to do is some simple stretches in between work to feel refreshed and relaxed. You can even go for a 10 min walk, do some pushups, or dance around when no one’s looking to bring back peace of mind.

5. Call in social support: Working, especially from home, can get very lonely at times due to lack of co-workers. In that case, it’s always good to call a friend to share your feelings and concerns. Involving friends and family within regular work schedules can relieve stress, improve trust, and benefit relationships in more ways than one.

Donâ’t think too much; just try out these simple tips the next time you get stressed to feel the difference.

Stress and Your Adrenals

Adrenal fatigue is a condition which is becoming increasingly prevalent, but at the same time is under-diagnosed. Relatively few people are aware that this condition is responsible for many of the fatigue-related symptoms they deal with on a daily basis. Prolonged or chronic stress is the major cause of adrenal fatigue.

An individual suffering from adrenal fatigue may find that even after sleeping for several hours the symptoms of fatigue can still be felt. It can seem that no amount of sleep or relaxation can overcome the kind of fatigue that a person who has adrenal fatigue experiences. One tell-tale sign of having adrenal fatigue can be a reliance on coffee and other stimulants to be able to get through the day and accomplish regular daily tasks.

Unfortunately, the consequence of adrenal fatigue does not just stop at feeling constantly fatigued and worn-out. The effects of chronic and prolonged stress can be very damaging to the body. In learning how to restore proper adrenal function you may be able to greatly increase your enjoyment of living.

Prolonged Stress Exhausts Your Adrenals

The adrenal glands play a critical role in human health, well-being and survival. Ideally, in times of stress the adrenals release hormones in amounts proportional to the perceived threat or need. These hormones trigger further hormone releases that temporarily enable super-powers in the person, enabling them to think and act faster and stronger than normally.

For health to be maintained it is necessary for these hormones to be dissipated by physical activity, followed by a critical rest period to enable the system, especially the adrenal glands, to fully recover. Unfortunately, in our modern lives this set of circumstances rarely occurs in our daily lives.

More often, the triggers that set off the ‘fight or flight’ response are emotion-based responses which lack a corresponding physical release. Worse still, there is usually no respite period before the next episode. Simply put, this is chronic stress.

Chronic stress causes prolonged production of adrenaline and cortisol which leads to exhaustion of the adrenals and depletion of these hormones. The adrenal glands cannot keep on producing stress hormones indefinitely. Eventually their output diminishes and constant fatigue sets in.

Stress Damage is System-wide

Each organ and every system in the body will suffer from the profound effects of malfunctioning adrenal glands. Once your adrenal glands are compromised, your body’s ability to metabolize fats, carbohydrate and protein will also be compromised. This occurrence also causes the depletion of specific nutrients that are much needed by the body for its optimal functioning.

Your body’s electrolyte balances, cardiovascular system, your heart and sex drive are also largely affected. These changes occur in degrees over time and may not be noticed in isolation. Eventually the adrenal depletion reaches a stage where it is impossible to remain unaware of a problem, usually a feeling of constant fatigue and being run-down. It is also usually noticed at this time that the person is more susceptible to infection and injury than they ever remembered previously being.

Exposing yourself to prolonged or chronic stress forces the body to continually produce stress hormones thereby constantly keeping it in panic mode. This becomes the accepted ‘norm’ and may go largely unnoticed. When the body is always in survival mode it is unable to effectively perform other important functions such as digesting food, fighting infections, regulating hormones, improving blood flow, etc.

In this state, the heart is constantly pumping harder and beating faster. The arteries will also be constricting most of the time while the body’s metabolism is using lean muscle as fuel for energy each time the body is subjected to stress.

Need for Repair

If you are suffering from adrenal fatigue it is first necessary to reduce or eliminate the stress causing it, or learn to deal with it more effectively to reduce the response to stressors. Then changes need to made to both diet and lifestyle, particularly rest patterns, to enable the adrenals to repair themselves. Unfortunately, as the damage did not occur overnight, neither will be the recovery, which can take up to two years.

6 Things you Didn’t Know about Stress

Stress is such an innocuous word for all the trouble it can cause. Did you know that stress can cause serious medical issues like cancer, obsessive compulsive disorder and clinical depression? Sure, that seems like common sense. But there is a whole world of things to know about stress. Here are six things you didn’t know.

Beneficial and Not So Beneficial Types of Stress

Did you ever think you’d come across a type a stress that’s good for you? This magical, helpful stress is called eustress. You need that kind of stress to have a healthier, more fulfilling and exciting life. Have you ever been on one of those amusement park rides that slowly carries you up, up, up a gigantic tower? You know that ride that pauses for a breathless second at the tippy top and then drops you back down to earth? Well, eustress develops when you do things like that. Or when you go sky diving, play laser tag and even when you fall in love.

You Can Stop Your Stress Reaction Right Now

When it’s time to fight or flee, your body produces the necessary biochemical reactions to get you in top physical shape. If you remain in that state and don’t calm yourself down right away, the stress could have an adverse effect on your health. In order to train yourself back down from that flight-or-flee high, you can practice stress relief techniques like meditation or breathing techniques.
Even Small Amounts of Stress Can Affect Your Health

Large amounts of stress can cause serious issues, as previously mentioned. Smaller amounts and shorter periods of stress, likewise, can wear down your immune system. The likelihood of developing an illness is greater when you are under stress, even if the stresses are relatively small. Your brain and body react the same whether the stress is life threatening or a simple annoyance that upsets you.

You Can Prevent a Significant Amount of Stress in Your Life from Occurring

This one is pretty easy, so without mincing words, here are some ways you can prevent high levels of stress:

Healthy diet
Close, meaningful friendships
Regular exercise
Relaxation and meditation
Positive outlook
Fun activities
Professional help, as necessary

Not Everyone Experiences Stress in the Same Way

We are all unique, born with different qualities and personalities. Two people may experience the same thing, but perceive it in different ways. What stresses one person out doesn’t necessarily stress out someone else. The stressor might be the same, but the external event isn’t what causes stress—the reaction to the stressor is. You can change how you react to stressors by practicing different stress management techniques, such as mediation.

By Imagining Your Stress Gone, It Can Be

And finally, banishing the stress! Such tricks as guided imagery and visualizations actually help you think away your stress. Here are some other ways to imagine away your stress:
Positive self-talks
Journaling
Art or other creative outlets
Group talks with friends
Meditation

Try a couple or all of those techniques to see which one better helps you banish your stress.

How Stress Affects the Body

Picture this: It’s a work day, just like any other day. As soon as you wake up, swing your legs over the side of the bed, your stress begins. You start by standing up on a LEGO (ouch!!). How it got in your room, you’ve no idea.
Next your tooth brush falls on the floor, butter side down. The next 10 minutes are spent de-grossifying it. It doesn’t get better from there.
You’re out of milk; no breakfast. You’re out of gas in your car; have to take the bus. You get to work and your boss is in one of her moods. Now the rest of your shift is touch and go. Ride the bus home, have a mediocre dinner, go to bed late, and start it all over again.

After all that, your stress levels have reached Mach 5. And you feel horrible. You may think this example is a huge exaggeration, but many of us spend our days dealing with one little stress after another, just like in the example.

Now true or false: stress only affects your emotions? False. Stress can and will affect your entire body. It affects you physically, mentally, emotionally and behaviorally. It can cause all of these issues:

Insomnia
Fatigue
Obesity
Lowered sex drive
Reduced mental faculties
Muscle pain
Lowered immunity
Migraines
Hair loss
Depression
Acute anxiety
Digestive disorders
Strokes
Diabetes

And many other issues that vary in severity. Forty-five percent of adults suffer injurious health effects from stress, such as the ones mentioned above. Also, 75 to 90 percent of all doctor visits pertain to stress-related ailments. Is that persistent tension in your neck still bothering you? Are you still waking up irritable? A lot of stress might be the cause.

Now, whether the stress components in your life are big or small, real or imaginary, your body reacts the same way. From sun up to sun down, many people can attest to experiencing several stressors a day. Each stress reaction produces 1,400 biochemical events in your body, which is a negative chain reaction on the molecular level.
If you suffer from, let’s say, 50 medium-sized stressors every day, your body gets attacked by a battalion of 70,000 biochemical warriors that don’t quit.

Additionally, when you experience acute stress, the adrenal glands produce adrenaline and cortisol, the “stress hormone.” That hormone regulates the changes to the body brought on by stress:

Blood sugar levels
Fat, protein and carbohydrate metabolism to maintain blood glucose
Anti-inflammatory actions
Blood pressure
Heart and blood vessel tone and contraction
Central nervous system activation

So when those biochemical warriors go into battle, your heart rate increases, blood pressure rises, pupils dilate, liver releases glucose and blood flows to your muscles increase.
Lastly, stress is linked to the six leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver, and suicide.

If stress can be reduced, either through meditation or another relaxation technique, you will be happier, healthier and hopefully stress-free. The first step to curing stress is to recognize that you have stress.

Why does it matter?

Cognitive behavioral therapy teaches us to break down our fears into their underlying beliefs. We are afraid of X because we think Y might happen. Often once we express our fears in these terms, we find that actually our fears are unfounded and very unlikely to come to fruition.

But there’s another way we can challenge our limiting beliefs and get some more perspective and that’s to ask the simple question ‘why does it matter?’.

Why Does it Matter?

A lot of us are anxious about certain things happening but actually, if we keep asking why it matters, we’ll reveal to ourselves that the worst case scenario actually isn’t that bad at all.
Of course this doesn’t work if you’re trying to overcome a fear of heights, or a fear of snakes (why does it matter? Because I might die!) but it works for all manner of other things.

Examples of Asking Why

Let’s take the common social anxiety that almost everyone experiences to some degree. Unless you were the number 1 jock or prom queen at school, chances are you’ve grown up with some element of trepidation speaking to other people. You maybe ask what they’re thinking about you and what will happen if they don’t like you. Ironically, this is then what often causes you to make mistakes or to sound unconfident.

But now ask yourself why it matters. Why does it matter what a stranger thinks? Are you going to see them again? If not then it hardly matters what impression you make on them! Are they a friend? If so, then they’re probably not friends with you because of how good you are at speaking in public! Is it someone you fancy? In that case, they’re probably just as nervous and hearing a bit of stuttering is only likely to be endearing to them. If not, then they possibly aren’t the person for you anyway!

You can do the same thing with any number of other anxieties. Stressed about being in debt? Ask yourself why it matters. Worst case scenario your home might be repossessed. Not ideal, sure, but as long as you have a job you’ll be able to live in rented accommodation. Don’t have a job? Most of us know a parent we can stay with. Don’t have that? The council will look after you.

Again, not ideal but it’s certainly something you could survive. Once again, that worst case scenario actually isn’t that bad and you shouldn’t let it cripple you!

Why Stress Isn’t Always a Bad Thing

If you’re trying to breathe and stay calm in more stressful situations and generally remain cooler under pressure, then you’ll often be approaching the idea of stress as something ‘bad’ that you need to ‘fix’ or address.
Actually though, this is the wrong way to think about stress and it’s even responsible for some of the issues associated with it. The perception is that stress makes us less confident, less able to make decisions and generally weaker.
But the reality couldn’t be further from that. In fact, stress actually makes us much stronger and also improves our performance in various other ways too.

How Stress Makes You Stronger

When you’re stressed, it triggers your body to release neurotransmitters and hormones which include adrenaline, dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin. Together, these contribute to pain relief, an increased heart rate, dilation of the blood vessels, increased blood viscosity and tension in the muscles. Blood and oxygen are directed away from the digestive system and immune system and instead they’re directed to your muscles and brain. This makes you faster and stronger and therefore better able to escape danger or confront it head on.

What’s more is that it improves your focus and alertness and improves your ability to act quickly and respond to threats. If you’re in a fight then, or an athletic contest – stress can actually help you to perform better and achieve more.

How Stress Motivates Us

At the same time, stress has the positive effect of motivating us. An example of this might be when we’re studying, at which point it’s often stress that makes us revise more or double check our work. The same goes for interviews and any other scenario where the outcome relies on us putting in work. This type of positive motivating stress is called ‘eustress’ and people tend to be more successful if they experience this to a good degree.

The key then is not to completely eradicate stress but rather to control it. By being able to dictate when you become stressed and how much stress you experience, you can thereby improve your ability to stay while at the same time tapping into the heightened strength, speed and intelligence that comes from a stress response.

Next time you find yourself feeling stress, don’t try to fight it (which will only make you more stressed ironically) but instead lean into it and channel it!

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