Research has shown that the amount of stress one experiences is directly related to how threatened he or she feel by a particular stressor. Thus, not everyone reacts or responds to a certain situation the same way. In other words, what might be the small stuff to one person is a huge stressor for someone else. How much we perceive the stressor as keeping us from achieving a specific goal is one factor in determining the amount of stress and/or anxiety the situation will be to us. Therefore, it is important to identify how much we feel stressed by the stressor. To do that, we must have a very clear understanding of our triggers of stress and anxiety. Once we do this, we will realize at times our belief about certain events is more important
Managing stress is all about taking charge: taking charge of your thoughts, your emotions, your schedule, your environment, and the way you deal with problems. Not sweating the small stuff means changing the stressful situation when you can, changing your reaction when you can’t, taking care of yourself and making time for rest and relaxation.
Remember the four A’s of stress reduction: avoid, alter, adapt, or accept:
- Avoid unnecessary stress by being honest with yourself. This is accomplished by learning to say no, knowing the difference between what you need and what you want, knowing what should be and what could be and by finding ways to avoid people and situations that “stress you out.”
- Alter the situation when you can’t avoid it. This can be done by learning how to negotiate changes and/or learning how to verbalize your feelings and letting others know what’s happening emotionally with you.
- Adapt means that if you can’t change the situation, change yourself. Reframe the situation means to look at it differently; look for the current positives or those that might come from the situation. In looking at the big picture, ask yourself if this is really something worth getting upset about?
- Accept the situations you can’t change. This will help you feel less stressed. And remember, stressful situations that can be overcome will be personal growth and learning opportunities.
Finally, looking after your physical health by setting aside time to relax and exercise, eating a healthy diet and getting sufficient sleep. These will all help you be in control.