Finding Your Optimal Stress Level
The common thought where stress is concerned is that having zero stress is the perfect scenario. Sitting on a beautiful beach with your toes in the sand, not a care in the world, is a dream come true. Unless you are on a never-ending vacation in the Caribbean, it’s only a dream. Getting rid of every stressor in life isn’t a realistic goal. Instead of working towards a completely stress free life, which may end up adding to your stress, you can aim to find your optimal stress level. It might sound strange to aim for maintaining some amount of stress in your life, but the logic is clear. Since you can’t completely banish pressure from your life, the next best thing is to find a way to manage the tension you do have. A steady baseline of stress you can cope with is your best bet.
Addition and Subtraction: Finding your perfect stress pitch is all about knowing how much you can handle and knowing when your plate is just too full. Trying out a little stress addition and subtraction can help you find the right balance. It might feel uncomfortable at first, but it’s worth the effort. Add a few things to your daily schedule and see how they make you feel. Adding different tasks to your life will either push your stress level too far or help you find the optimal level. Once you begin feeling overwhelmed with stress, that’s the point where you need to begin subtracting.
Know Your Limits: The addition and subtraction exercise above will help you become aware of your limits. There’s only so much you can deal with in a single day. No matter how much there is to do, taking a step back and accepting the fact that you can’t be on the move 24/7 will make it much easier to decide when to accept new projects or politely decline. Training yourself to know your stress limits and adjust your schedule accordingly is vital to keeping your mental wellbeing balanced.
Staying Balanced: It will take time to learn how to truly balance your optimal level of stress. Different factors in your daily life may have an impact on stress levels. The key to staying balanced is learning how to manage your stress. Everyone has a different tolerance when it comes to dealing with tension. Some charge ahead without worry while others take a more cautious approach. Some people find themselves in over their heads while others are able to take on more of a load. Whichever is true for you, learning to manage your stress will help you find just how much you can do and to feel better while you are doing it. The first step to managing stress is identifying what triggers your stress level, such as relationship problems, job pressures, financial difficulties. commuting, physical pain, moving, or being overcommitted in your personal or professional life. The second step to managing stress is developing strategies to deal with your stressors, such as a regular practice of relaxation techniques. You can learn more about that here.
Declining: If you’re someone who likes saying “yes”, then this might be a tough hurdle for you. Saying yes to favors, yes to new projects, yes to going here, there, and everywhere can lead to a negative outcome. Sometimes the better answer is “let me think about it.” It gives you time to consider whether or not you can take on a new task. If your stress level is getting a little too high for you to handle, then saying no isn’t such a bad option in the long run. Taking care of yourself takes precedent over other projects.
May you move through life with more awareness and ease.