Life’s major stresses, the ones we all dread and that many of us will inevitably experience, can throw us for a loop, changing who we are and how we view the world forever. They can also help us grow stronger over time if we learn to adapt to new circumstances. Wait until I break this down…
We all know that stress is an inevitable aspect of being human, but it’s also something that most of us would like to do without. Different people react differently to stress because of factors such as their natural disposition, their upbringing, and the lessons they were taught (both consciously and unconsciously). While some people have a natural ability to withstand and even thrive under pressure, others are inherently more vulnerable and quicker to respond negatively.
Despite the fact that we can’t change our genetic wiring, research suggests there are ways to increase our resilience anyway. In case you were wondering, one of these measures is called a “stress inoculation.”
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Life’s Top 10 Stressors
The pressures that people endure must be understood before we can talk about how to build resilience and deal with them. The ten most stressful things in life are listed below.
Loss of a Family Member
It’s safe to say that this is the worst thing that could happen to anyone everywhere. After a loss of a loved one, we may experience a wide range of emotions and struggle to find meaning in life.
Grief is a complicated and individual experience. The loss of a loved one necessitates our own patience, understanding, and compassion.
Legally Separated or Divorced
Many people experience shock, helplessness, betrayal, confusion, and sadness after a divorce or separation, and this is only one of the many reasons why it can be psychologically damaging. It’s a lot like losing a loved one to have to start over in the world and find your place.
Household Relocation, Purchase, or Sale
Even the most laid-back persons experience stress during the moving, purchasing, or selling of a property due to the financial cost of moving. To the point where 40% of Americans name it as their most stressful life event, home buying is a major ordeal.
Serious Illness or Injury
There are many difficult ways in which this life-altering event might affect us. Being dependent on others for support or having less independence is unsettling and can make us question our capacity to make a living and the way we are accustomed
In a society where “What do you do?” is the standard icebreaker, job loss can feel like the loss of a significant part of one’s identity.
Marriage is a known stressor, albeit a positive one, that requires many of us to make changes in our lives. Adjusting to married life and the responsibilities that come with sharing a home with another person can be difficult.
You have More Financial Commitments and Choices to make. Financially Related
Taking on additional financial responsibilities or making significant decisions pertaining to money might expose deep-seated anxieties about things like scarcity and value.
One more thing that can keep you up at night is feeling stuck in your job and like you have to be climbing the corporate ladder to make ends meet.
Finalization of Career
Retirement planning is another source of “pleasant” stress because many of us work hard all our lives with the goal of retiring at some point. That’s a huge deal and a brand-new beginning for individuals who make the switch.
Taking Care of a Relative Who Is Sick or Elderly
Many carers are not able to effectively care for themselves due to the large increase in responsibilities they take on, often around the clock. This can lead to a variety of health issues for the carer.
A Stressful Experience (Natural Disaster, Crime, Violence, Pandemic)
Although many different difficulties might be classified here, the underlying issue appears to be a sense of helplessness.
Strategies for Handling Anxiety
In the same way that stress has a unique effect on everyone, the most effective ways to deal with it are also somewhat unique to each person. The most efficient management method is a plan that is specifically designed for each employee.
Your ability to deal with the stresses of everyday life is a good predictor of how you’ll handle major life changes.
Managing stress effectively begins with establishing and maintaining healthy routines. If a strategy isn’t put into place until after a traumatic incident has already occurred, it will be far more difficult to be effective.
As a self-proclaimed “tennis nerd,” I often make the analogy of needing to hit a winning “kick serve” in the Wimbledon finals. Your chances of winning aren’t high if you wait until the last possible second to perfect your kick serve. The odds of that happening are slim, right?
Likewise, if you want to succeed at controlling your stress, you must do the same. It may be more challenging to get the desired result if you wait until the most stressful, traumatic, and life-changing events have occurred before trying to apply new behaviors.
What follows is a list of 12 suggestions for dealing with daily stresses.
Recognize your emotions.
Recognize and give yourself time to deal with the range of emotions brought on by the stressful situation. Start with this, because it’s crucial. All of these things,  might cause you to feel quite strongly emotionally. Identifying these feelings and deciding how to deal with them will pave the way for you to progress. Maybe you express yourself best on paper, in conversation, or via the medium of art.
Attempt something new for a short amount of time (even if it’s just five or ten minutes) if you’re unsure what might work.
It’s important to pay attention to our internal dialogue about the stress we’re experiencing. To avoid adding to your stress, try working through your feelings and emotions (like we suggested) without being critical of yourself or the circumstance.
Eating correctly helps support a healthy immune system, boosts energy, and can even aid with cortisol regulation.
When we’re feeling anxious, we tend to seek meals that actually make us feel worse (like sugar and processed foods). Instead, you should eat meals that help you relax, like those high in protein and vitamin B, which have been shown to lower feelings of tension and anxiety.
Make sure you drink enough water
Stress can cause you to get dehydrated, which is one of the worst things you can do to yourself. Mild dehydration can increase anxiety, depression, fatigue, and brain fog.
Try to Get Enough Sleep
Make an Effort to Get Enough Rest Unlike drinking enough water (which we can force ourselves to do), sleeping through the night is more difficult when we have a lot on our minds. Getting a good night’s sleep might make it simpler to control your feelings and speed up your recovery period after experiencing stress.
You should practice proper sleep hygiene on purpose if you want to increase your odds of success.
The recommendation is to exercise.
Numerous studies have shown that getting up and moving about is effective for relieving stress. Exercising provides numerous health benefits, including a rise in feel-good endorphins, better sleep, a more positive outlook, a more focused mind, and a reduction in the negative effects of stress.
Observe a Degree of Choosiness in Your Environment.
Pick and choose carefully which activities, people, media, and information you expose yourself to on a daily basis. In fact, this is a cornerstone of the theory of neuroplasticity.
The human mind is like a sponge; it takes in information from the external world and uses it to form its own internal reality. When you surround yourself with calm, tranquil, loving, and agreeable people and settings, your brain will take on such qualities. The opposite is also absorbed if the opposite is presented.
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Construct Boundaries and Limits
It’s helpful to have a sense of what you’re capable of handling during times of high stress. To keep your vitality up, you must strictly enforce limits and boundaries.
If you need something, it’s fine to ask for it. To put it simply, people will get it. If they don’t, then they’re the reason you need to institute limits in the first place.
Calm down, take a Few Deep Breaths, and Meditate.
Mindfulness practices might help you relax and regain focus throughout the day. Mindfulness has been shown to alter brain structure and activity in areas that control attention and emotion.  Transform the way your mind works for the better.
Surround Yourself with Caring People
Make some friends. Evidence suggests that social interactions, such as those with friends, relatives, coworkers, members of your church, tennis team, garden club, or a support group, can help reduce stress by fostering a sense of trust, safety, and comfort. 
Don’t Stray from Your Routine
Having a general idea of what the next day will bring can be a huge stress reliever. Additionally, routines can be entertaining and beneficial to one’s mental and physical well-being. 
Finally, the most unexpected but potentially crucial method of stress management is:
Find Joy amid Stress
Alia Crum, an assistant professor of psychology at Stanford, is responsible for some of the most recent findings in this area. Crum suggests that we cultivate an attitude that welcomes and even seeks out stress.
Do I need to convince you that this is completely insane? If you only look at it for a second, then maybe. Recognizing the value of stress is critical since our responses to stress are heavily influenced by how we interpret them.
You can try to change your perspective on stress by, as Crum suggests, 1) believing you can handle it and, more importantly, 2) accepting stress as an inevitable part of life.
What you tell yourself about the stressful scenario can help you develop an “immunity” to it. Studies have shown that after experiencing extreme stress, our brain undergoes a period of intense rewiring that can last for hours. This re-patterning leaves an imprint on our brain that aids our coping the next time we’re faced with a difficult situation.
Research has also shown that people are more inclined to resort to risky coping mechanisms like alcohol and drugs when they view stress as harmful.