Stress awareness day

It is stress awareness day!!

International Stress Awareness Day is an annual event dedicated to raising awareness about stress, its impact on mental and physical health, and the importance of stress management. International Stress Awareness Week also encourages open conversations about stress and mental well-being to reduce the stigma surrounding these topics.

To highlight Stress Awareness day, I have written a blog about how I help myself. I read an amazing newsletter by a gentleman named Marc; his advice which I have taken below, has helped my enormously, hopefully it may help you too!

Life can be hard – FACT.

Often, when you think it can’t get any worse, it does! But sometimes however hard we try, life just doesn’t give us what we WANT. This is because we often NEED something different to what we want.

You won’t always understand why life works the way it does, and that’s OK. The key is detachment; letting go of your expectations and making the best of what is happening in your life right now. You can never relive a day once it has passed and if you do not take the time to enjoy it and appreciate the good, you will end up looking back with regret. That is a stressful thought in itself!

We all have an idea in our heads about how things are, or how they’re supposed to be, and sadly this is what often messes us up and stresses us out the most.

Here are six strategies that I learnt from mark for making life less stressful:

I Created some healthy space for myself.

Sometimes I am just too close to the puzzle to see the big picture.  When I feel like this, I take a few steps back to gain clarity on the situation.  The best way I have found to do this is to simply take a short break and explore something else for a little while.  Why?  So I can return to where I started and see things with a new set of eyes.  Returning to where I started is entirely different than never leaving and I often find it gives me a fresh perspective with a lot less stress.

I have accepted the truth and practice every day at being grateful for what is.

To be grateful for the experiences that my life has bought me has made me see what a rich life I have led. It doesn’t matter if those experiences have made me laugh, made me cry, or helped me learn and grow.  It’s the acceptance of everything that I have now, everything I once had, and the possibilities that lie ahead.  I have found the strength to embrace life’s challenges and changes (good or bad), to trust my intuition, to learn as I go, and realise that every experience has value. My life is my truth and all I can do is accept that and continue taking positive steps forward.

Do this every day. Your mind is your own weapon and to fight your daily battles you need your weapon to be sharp.  

I have learnt to forgive 

This was probably the hardest thing for me. It has taken a long time to lean that forgiveness is a constant attitude of choosing happiness over hurt. Holding on to resentment is stressful for no-one else but me. It doesn’t change what has happened, it just affects my present and my future. I have acknowledged that as human beings we are not perfect, none of us, we all make mistakes sometimes, and even the best of us do stupid things and sometimes these things that have severe consequences.  I accept that stupid mistakes do not mean that we are evil and unforgiveable, or that we can’t be trusted ever afterward. It just makes us human. It might take time, and that is because it takes strength to forgive.  

I concentrate only on what can be changed

I never waste time or energy worrying about the things that I can’t change.  I focus exclusively on what I can.  And if I can’t change something that’s upsetting me, I change the way I think about it.  I review my options and then re-frame what I don’t like into a starting point for achieving something different in my life.  

I make the now the primary focus of my life

Now is the moment that I try my best to live in. The past is just a memory and the future is a mental projection of what I would like.  I’m not saying that I don’t sometimes get nostalgic and think of the past, I do, what I no longer do is think about the past in a negative way and wish I could change it. I can’t so what is the point? I am also not saying that I don’t think about the future, I do, but I visualise what I want and use that visualisation for practical planning.  Any time I think about the past or future in a negative way, I recognise that I am suffocating my ability to thrive in the only moment I ever have. The NOW.  The past and future literally do not exist in the now, so I live in the now every day, and I treasure it. 

I embrace my many quirks, I own my mistakes and I accept the fact that life is a lesson

Life is always going to have ups and down. Things change, people change and situations change, but you will always be YOU. Accept everything that you are, stay true to yourself and never sacrifice who you are for anyone or anything.  You have to dare to be yourself, quirks and all, however frightening or strange that may prove to be.  It’s about realising that even on your weakest days, you get a little bit stronger, if you’re willing to learn.  Which is why, sometimes the greatest thing to come out of all your trouble and hard work isn't what you get, but what you become.  

About the author

My passion is for learning, any age, anywhere, anytime. That is why I offer Interactive E-learning, Face to Face training, Microsoft Teams/Zoom training and consultancy services. Learning should be easy to organise, and more importantly fun!

The world is moving so fast these days, especially where technology is concerned, everything is mobile, what would we do without our mobile phones and tablets? Learning takes place every day, whether it’s from an article we read, an app we download or a conversation we have going about our everyday lives. We are always learning and developing.

Author: Maxine Clark

Visit Maxine on LinkedIn