Want to Feel Better? Take Responsibility for Your Stress.

It is no secret that stress causes many illnesses, if not most illnesses. It raises blood pressure and lowers the immune system. And it contributes to a host of other, more severe mental conditions, such as anxiety and depression. 

It is clear that external conditions impact our stress level, but we have very little control over spontaneous chaos and stressors - the crazy things that happen around us every day. Thus, we have to learn to take responsibility and adjust the impact. 

Five tips to help you adjust and start feeling better fast:

Accept The Fact That You Are Not Always In Control

You cannot always control what goes on around you, but you can control how you react. When chaos ensues, take a deep breath. Then do what you have to do without the stress and anger that come with the fear of being out of control.

Don't Absorb Unnecessary Drama

When your peers share their drama, don't take ownership of it. It's ok to listen and be a friend without carrying their burdens on your shoulders. If you have someone in your life who consistently pulls you into their hyped-up stories, it's ok to ask them (nicely) to stop or avoid them when possible.

Look for the Facts

In your personal life and your work life, you will hear a lot of opinions from your friends, on the news, and through social media. These opinions are not always accurate, yet opinionators are causing a lot of stress with their rants.  If you avoid the views and look for truth, you may find that often, there's no reason to be upset.

Go Straight to the Top

In the workplace, our co-workers sometimes unintentionally or intentionally, share rumors, causing their peers undue stress. When you hear something "at the water cooler" that concerns you, go straight to your manager, who may need to dispel the rumor and restore the peace. Note that when you operate this way, you should probably let any “gossipers” in your circle know upfront that you will ask questions and get the truth.

Get Help Before Your Stress Level Goes “Over the Top”

See your doctor and tell them everything that’s going on, whether physical or emotional. Don’t be embarrassed or ashamed, to tell the truth. As healthcare professionals, they have likely heard worse stories than yours. It’s also a good idea to seek wise counsel from a professional or pastoral care when you are overwhelmed for any reason. 

Additional Resources

Tips for Caregivers

Eating Right Improves Overall Health

Coping with stress: Workplace tips (from the Mayo Clinic)