You feel stress when your surroundings are full of emotional or physical tension. The overflowing feeling can make you feel frustrated, angry, or even nervous. This is why stress management is needed to help you to relieve the pressure and regain control of your mind.
A British novelist named J. G. Ballard, in his novel series, imagined the potential impact of progressively advanced modern societies on human behavior. It was about a society that struggled to cope with the new era which later seeking release from the stress by turning violent or other forms of madness.
You can also call that instance as a dystopian vision of society that portrays a society under stress in an emergent reality.
And honestly, it does correspond to the present situation we live in. One doesn’t have enough time to do what they want. They’re constantly on the go, catching deadlines or meeting ends meet which later increases their level of stress.
Stress is actually our body’s response to pressures from a situation or life event. However, prolonged stress may trigger maladaptive responses that can lead to depression, learning & memory deficits, health problem and even deteriorating productivity.
Lucky for us though, because stress is manageable.
From Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine (2008), stress management is set of techniques and programs intended to help people deal more effectively with stress in their lives by analyzing the specific stressors and taking positive actions to minimize their effects.
So how can you manage your stress? Here are 5 tips for stress management and improve your productivity.
1. Understand the cause of your stress
Understand which type of situations are causing stress. By beginning to identify and understand the sources of your stress, you’ve taken the first step in learning to better manage it.
Sort out the possible reasons for your stress and try to think of the plausible solution. When you found that the cause of your stress is something that you can’t do anything about, drop it.
Start by taking baby steps towards the cause of stress you can improve. Think about a plan that involves setting yourself realistic expectations and prioritizing the essential stuff.
2. Do routine exercises
Physical exercises are essential for your health and can be an excellent initial approach to managing the effects of stress. Physical activities can provide a ‘mood boost’ by producing endorphins.
If you find it hard to motivate yourself, read my post about How to Find Internal Motivation.
3. Create a journal
If you like planning and organizing, having a journal can help keep you focused and energized to tackle your daily works. You can use it to track how you spend your time for better time management.
When you have ongoing projects, it’s important to document those in your journal. This way you can grasp an idea of how you handle your works and why you choose to do things in a particular way.
By writing down your thoughts and ideas, you give your brain more space to focus on the important stuff, which will prevent burnout.
4. Focus on results, not on busyness
Stop thinking that doing more means more productive and will make you happier. You should aim for quality instead of quantity for your work.
Having fewer things to do will help you to fully focus your mind on specific tasks only. Mindfulness is what you should be striving for. It can be helpful for managing and reducing the effect of stress, anxiety, and other related problems.
5. Review your lifestyle
Do you drink a lot of caffeinated drinks? Try to decaf yourself. For some people, they needed the extra boost for keeping up with their daily work. You can still drink those daily dose caffeine but I suggest you reduce your intake. Too much is not good.
Do you spend your time scrolling your phone a lot? Try to disconnect from your utopia for a while. As great as social media is, it’s actually a threat to your productivity.
You can try time-blocking to set your schedule and get things done. I also do this and add my free time on the block, it’s like stress reliever after long hours of work. However, don’t get too hooked up with your free time, just set a smaller time-block than the rest.
Do you snack a lot? Try switching to healthier snacks. A healthy diet will reduce the risk of diet-related diseases. And studies say that food can affect your mood. Eating good foods will help your diet the adequate amounts of nutrients including essential vitamins and minerals, as well as water.
Bonus tip! Get some restful sleep
Sleep problems are common when you’re stressed. You might wanna try to write down your to-do list for the next day to lessen your burden after waking up. It’s useful in helping you prioritize and planning your day for the next day.
The other important thing is that you get good-quality sleep. Though everyone has their own personal preferences, the common factors that can affect your sleep are light, noise and temperature.
Too much light or noise can make you wide awake at night. If you have sources of light and noise that you can’t control (i.e street light, your neighbors partying, etc), you might want to use an eye mask or earplugs.
Room temperature is also important. Use a heater or thicker duvet if you find yourself too cold at night or use a thinner cover if you’re feeling too hot.
Now that we’ve reached the end of this post, do you have more tips for stress management?