• Matthew Langford

Daily Stressors and How to Manage Them

We all experience stress. It’s how we learn, grow, adapt, and what pushes humanity forwards. The thing about stress though is that as good as it is, too much of a good thing becomes bad. Today we will be exploring what stress is, and how to manage those times because I don’t think I know anyone who doesn’t experience just a little too much stress often. Firstly we will go through a couple of the broad categories of stressors (What cause stress) before we delve into ways of managing it.

So without further ado, let’s tackle this topic!

Show-Stopping Stressors

Okay, so you’ve no doubt felt stressed before, and if you haven’t, then you can probably achieve more (No

offence). You see stress comes about from pressure and pressure comes about from need. For the most part, we get through life based on need, be it food, water, entertainment, novelty or the like. Sex is even a part of human needs, and there is substantial psychological research on this. Stress then seems to be born out of human needs and the challenges presented by them both biologically and psychologically. Biologically a stress is a challenge presented to the body that requires it to adapt, such as bright light needing the eyes to adjust, and exercise requiring the body to improve. Psychologically then stress is about the challenges presented to the mind of an individual that require overcoming such as fulfilling the needs mentioned before. If this all sounds too complex, then the basics are that the body and mind both encounter challenges which cause stress and they then adapt to overcome them. Although you probably knew this in some form or another, so let’s break down two everyday stressors/challenges.

1. Time

Time is a pretty cool concept on its own and warrants a whole heap of discussion, but as cool as it is, Time can be pretty stressful. It presents a challenge to us in the form of deadlines or time limits which we must overcome. There can be stress over both too much, and too little time, you can stress because something will take too long, not long enough or that you don’t have enough of it. So Time in many senses can help you stress in almost any situation. I imagine you can think of a ton of examples for when time has stressed you out, especially when you don’t have enough of it. Don’t worry though, because we will explore how to overcome this in the next section on management, don’t you worry.

2.Task Difficulty

Well if Time is causing you stress then just imagine not having enough time OR skill to complete a task, now that’s a scary situation. Not being able to do something that you need to do can absolutely cause immense stress and frustration. If the way to overcome stress is to adapt to a challenge then oh boy this will keep you on your toes. This is when the gap from where you are now to where you need to be is too significant to adapt quick enough. This one can present itself in the form of starting anything new, and it is the stress here that can cause you to turn tail and run. It is here that will power becomes more important than skill alone could ever be.

Managing All That Wonderful Stress

Well, when you think of stress like air filling a balloon, there is a point that is just the right amount. If you fill it too far over the desired amount it pops, not enough and you get an unmotivated and deflated, sad balloon. So when you are filling up with all your stress, there is actually a right amount of stress that keeps us functioning optimally. So then what is your point? Well, I can’t answer that question I’m afraid, it takes some trial and error. When you start to feel overwhelmed is when you should back it off until you feel in control again. This is your optimal amount of stress. Now for some that might be juggling two assignments at once, others it may be a 60hr work week and a side hustle. Find yours and be proud of it, you can, of course, increase your tolerance over time, but this is just arguably you becoming more efficient. Now for how to manage your slightly over-inflated balloon.

Managing time stress

Stress to do with deadlines is managed through planning above all else. Time management is such a big topic because it works. If you can control your time, then you won’t stress over it near as much because the challenges you face are already planned for. There are countless books on time management that can help you to be gain more control over your time as well. A simple daily planner, weekly planner, or even just setting three tasks a day such as morning, noon and evening. The trick to time management is the same as goal setting, it has to be specific. So in the example of the morning noon and evening schedule (This is the most basic routine), it would look something like, Work on writing blog post between 9-11, prep lunch from 1-2, study course between 4-6. Something like that. You need specific timeslots in your plan and making a good plan is an art form, so experiment with it, and you will be well on your way to less stress.

Dealing with Difficulty

Now that we can manage time, how do we deal with insurmountable odds? Good question,

let’s answer it. If coming head to head with a challenge you can’t do, what would you recommend? Give up? Well I’d recommend phoning a friend, this will help in more ways than one, for starters a problem shared is a problem halved (More than halved in my opinion). If you bring in someone who actually knows anything that can help you but don’t ask them then you are only burdening yourself. You don’t have to be the best at everything, but one thing that EVERYONE should become great at is asking for help. If you have just been given a new project that you can’t do then either ask the boss to pair you with someone to help or seek them out yourselves, any good leader would be glad to help steer you in the right direction. Plan time for this as well, don’t just frantically search for someone. Set up a meeting and work together to overcome the difficulty. The same can be said if you are attempting a new PR on your bench press then make sure you have someone strong there to help.

Final Thoughts on Stress

It’s one of those things that has almost infinite parts to it. So making sure you understand it to the best of your ability is essential! More can be said about stress than I have said here; however, I hope that it will serve as a start for those of you experiencing high stress on the regular. As with most things, to overcome stress, you must understand it. Make sure you understand that the feeling of stress is the feeling of being challenged, and you only need to overcome it. When the odds get too heavy, and you feel overwhelmed, make sure to ask for help, suffering alone does no one good. Just as important is if you feel as though there is never enough time to do something, then take a step back and spend some time to develop a plan. Some parts of the plan may create stress in the form of being too difficult, then you either change them or ask someone to help you with them. No matter what it may seem like there is always a way through stressful times, be it major or minor stress, you need only have the right mindset.

So keep strong and kick Conquer Your World!

  • Matt Langford

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