Stress begins when, in certain circumstances, the demands you place on yourself exceed your ability to control them. The more control you have on a situation, the less tense you are and vice versa. To stop feeling like a victim of circumstances and to control any case, you will need some effort to realize your first spontaneous reaction to what is happening and switch to making thoughtful and purposeful decisions.
Any problem consists of 50% of the factors that you can control, and the other 50% that are beyond your control. What is beyond your control attracts you like a magnet attracts metal. However, focusing on factors that you cannot control, you automatically adjust yourself to stress and fall into a vicious circle, the way out of which you do not see. Remember that when you are trapped in the grip of fear, you only need to concentrate on what you can fix. The feeling that you can control something increases your stress resistance.
Even a one-minute visualization of how you change things for the better will fill you with positive emotions and reduce fear.
Think of problems as a temporary phenomenon
It is much easier to maintain stability under stress if you treat problems as temporary difficulties that will be solved sooner or later. This approach to the situation will be your vaccine against the feeling of helplessness and depression. Even if changes occur all the time, you can adapt to them: perceive them as a developmental process, during which the current confusion and chaos will eventually give you new opportunities.
If the lumen is not visible and nothing changes for the better, if even to achieve a modest result you have to apply super efforts, it’s time to step back a little from the situation. It can be the best way out in many cases: when changes occur in your company and you have to accept current conditions for a while; when you have to deal with a difficult colleague or business partner, but you are not in a position to dictate your terms.
By applying the principle of “reasonable detachment” in practice, you, on the one hand, are involved in the process and contribute, and on the other hand, you emotionally abstract from any outcome of your efforts. Only participate in battles that are worthy of your time and energy. Draw a line: what is the negative impact you can firmly accept?
The best way to keep your internal work schedule under control is to make all your thoughts have one direction. This phenomenon is known as directed thinking. Imagine the result you want to achieve, and then think, feel, and act to make it. When you have a clear idea of your goal, it helps you to focus on the circumstances that you can influence. It is essential to teach the brain to direct your attention only to the incoming stimulus that is most relevant to your priorities, filtering out all that is insignificant.
If you continuously remember what result you want to achieve, you can teach your nervous system to pause to think about the next step. The clearer you are about your priorities, the easier it will be to achieve a conscious, rather than an automatic response to the stimulus. When it seems to you that you are overloaded, one way or another, the problem lies in the lack of clarity in a specific part of the priority distribution chain. Transparency primarily means that you are aware of what your goals are and why they initially became them.
Look for opportunities to delegate functions and tasks. If you cannot delegate responsibilities because there are no people around you who can do the necessary work, allow the employees who do not show proper results the opportunity to prove themselves. On the other hand, in the absence of their progress, do not hesitate and find someone who performs the task better. A significant part of the stress is because we put up with low qualifications or avoid direct discussion of unsatisfactory results, trying to maintain “diplomacy.”
Say “no” the right way
Sincerely share your feelings. Answer “no” to a specific request, but at the same time, try to maintain the possibility of relationships in the future. Offer to do what you are genuinely able to do, even if your proposal differs from the original request. Besides, do not forget to ask how things are going the next time you meet this person.
Don’t allow distraction
Someone will always distract you and will distract you from work. Nevertheless, treat your time, energy and attention as valuable and non-renewable resources that should be saved. You must have thoughtful and strict criteria regarding which situation deserves your immediate attention.
If you want to avoid distractions, the easiest way is to turn off notifications of new letters and not answer phone calls. Besides, you can fit them into your schedule so that you can control the time when others want to distract you with something. For example, schedule regular meetings with colleagues if their future work depends on your feedback. Make up the “backup (buffer) time” when you can solve unexpected problems or take time to give feedback. Establish when you are available to others and when not.
For the transition from the “on” state to the “off” state, it is necessary to develop a complex for preparing the body for sleep. Start 15–30 minutes before you go to bed. If possible, the lighting should be as close to natural as possible, such as candles. Make a list of all the tasks planned for the next day, which are now overwhelming your head.
For one or three minutes, concentrate on what happened during the day and for which you are grateful. Do something that calms you: reading, drawing, or meditation. If you want to gain inner strength, you must become calmer. A person with inner strength is not nervous or stressful. Try it. It is easier than you think.