Why You Feel So Stressed (And 3 Practices To Manage It)

Can you remember the time when you were so stressed you forgot to do something important?

Can you remember when you were so stressed you procrastinated your side projects and just watched Netflix and Chill?

Can you remember when you were so stressed you snapped at your lover but you didn’t mean to?

Stress is the poison to good relationships, work ethic, and overall sanity.

And if you’re not managing it well, it can cause a lot of turmoil and derail you from what matters in your life.

What you might find annoying too is that stress often shows up when we’re doing our most important activities — your side projects, leading employees, family retreats, etc.

How can you deal and manage stress better — so you still show up as your best self every day?

Where Stress Comes From and How It Builds Up

The problem is people don’t know where their stress comes from.

They’re not aware of how badly stress they are, especially why they are stressed out.

The stress builds up, it builds up, it builds up…

So what happens at the end of the week? They explode on their spouse, their kids, or their friends. Then they feel guilty for doing it as they say, “I didn’t mean it. I was just stressed.

There’s the positive type of stress which shows up when you’re working on a challenging project.

But the negative type of stress happens when you’re wrecking your projects and relationships. And you must acknowledge this big difference.

Here’s another key difference between the two.

The positive type of stress helps us avoid accidents and protect ourselves from getting hurt. It is relatively short. As I write this article, I’m experiencing good stress because of the creative challenge it creates.

According to Healthline, the negative type of stress (distress) is usually prolonged and can cause anxiety in the long term. And people go to emotional turmoil because distress is unavoidable, so they freak out.

The problem is most of us are not taught how to better manage stress.

Don’t Avoid Stress, Manage It

In 2019, I had been stressed more than ever.

My family and I were struggling financially, my parents’ business closed, and I experienced high levels of emotional stress.

I read books, watched online training in personal development, and forced myself to start small and build habits of wellness that now allowed me to stay sane throughout the day and get the important stuff done.

Here are three advanced practices that can help you manage stress more effectively.

1. Release The Tension

If you don’t release, you’ll never have peace.

Stress builds up. Your emotional short-fuse didn’t happen because you’re just stressed at that moment. It’s the accumulation of your little stressors that built up that caused you to explode.

It’s the stress from 10 AM, 1 PM, 3 PM… Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday… And it built up.

One of the best practices I learned from my high performance coach mentor, John Peitzman is to release the stress.

I structured my wellness practice into three categories.

  1. Hourly tension release
  2. Mid-day tension release
  3. Evening tension release

Along with my second point later, I would share how I do my hourly tension release.

But if the clock hits noon, I would meditate for 15 minutes. This is my mid-day tension release. You’ll be shocked how this effectively resets your mood.

At 6 PM, I might take a nap before I transition to attend our daily events in the Church as a member and officer. Meditation and naps both work well.

Remember, stress builds up. If you’re not releasing the tension throughout the day, you’re simply building the tension throughout the day.

2. Master Your Transitions

Carrying stress from your previous activities is the beginning of your demise.

Bathe. Commute. Work. Email. Socialize. Commute. Family time. Dinner. Side hustle.

How many transitions do you have in your schedule? In between those periods is where what I call ‘do or die transitions’ lie.

To be more effective, we need to have the ability to glide in and glide out from our tasks to take a break and set an intention for the next task.

If we don’t master these transitions that occur in between our tasks, we’re going to drag the stress from the previous activity to the next — chaos!

One of the best things I did in my life is following my 50/10 productivity rule every day: work for 50 minutes, take a 10-minute break.

And the days when I feel everything is all over the place are when I don’t take an hourly break.

For years, research supports that taking breaks throughout the day at the workplace leads to high levels of positive emotions and productivity.

To be specific, after working for 45–60 minutes, take a break.

It doesn’t matter if you’re in the flow state and getting lots of ideas as you write an article. When the alarm rings, get up, breathe and stretch.

Before going back to work, close your eyes, release the mental and physical stress from the previous activity, and start working again.

3. Seek People Support

When you’re overcommitted, you can’t overdeliver.

People lose their sanity because they do all the work and overcommit.

But we all know the greatest achievers and producers of this world have a Team of Picassos (using Robin Sharma’s words).

You know yourself more than anybody else. Do you need help with a task? Delegate it.

People lose their inner peace when they feel they have to do everything themselves.

You don’t need to do everything on your own. Hire a team if you need it.

In our Church, I always felt that I needed to do everything as one of the leaders: create the presentation, print documents, count the event attendees, message each of our members, etc.

I went nuts. I lost my sanity. However, because I’m a personal development geek, I dorked out on the topics of persuasion and influence.

It turns out that research proves people are more likely to say yes over three times if you ask them for help. It’s just that people think others will judge them from asking.

People underestimate others’ willingness to help them. But you can never just get to a place of a less stressful and more excellence-driven life if your plate is too full. Seek support.

Energy is more valuable than your intelligence

If you’re not releasing the physical and mental tension, mastering your transitions, and seeking people’s support, you will never ever have a sane life.

Don’t let the stress build up. Release it.

Don’t carry the stress from the previous activity to the next. Transition well.

Don’t feel like you have to do everything yourself. Seek support.

These are the 3 major practices that have helped me manage the daily stress every person in this world experience.

I hope this writing served your personal growth.

Thanks for reading.

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Writer | Social Media Manager | Binge-read all of my articles on better creativity, better focus, and better productivity here: https://bit.ly/3DMyz4q