Updated: Oct 19, 2020
Stress is like a drug. We know we don’t need it, but yet we find ourselves addicted to it. Yes, we’re all addicted to stress. Because think about it. We’re always stressed. The biggest irony of life being that a person’s wedding day is supposedly meant to be the happiest day of their life. But the process of planning this big, happy day is by far the most stressful thing to undergo! Yes, we all stress about literally everything in life. We all work to earn money. We think the more we get, the merrier it will be. Once we get that more money, we’re worried about high taxes. So we get into a maze of managing that more money that was supposedly meant to be the merrier part of life. Or so we thought. Stress management is nothing but your way of recovering from this addiction. Yes, this addiction to stress.
Stress management is a way of life
Stress management begins with identifying the source. We have already ascertained that we stress about everything in life. So it is easy to identify the source. Having done that, we acknowledge that taking stress is an unwanted trait. It does nothing to accomplish the task at hand. What can really accomplish something is taking action. Taking action need not be accompanied by stress. We stress because we are fixated on the outcome. We seldom enjoy this journey of life. Make stress management a way of life. Identify the source and then nip it in the bud.
Stress management during difficult times
The COVID-19 lockdown has taken up majority of our year 2020. Our goal for this year is merely to get over this pandemic and come out safe and sound. We’ve all seen that no amount of wealth can safeguard your health from this deadly virus. We may try our best to keep stress at bay and adjust to the new normal. But when we see a threat to our life, stress is inevitable. But it also opens our eyes to what is important and what is not. Stress management during such difficult times may not be as easy, but it is definitely not impossible. Holistic management of COVID-19 related stress can be helpful to ease out and unburden unwanted stress.
Just remember the 3 A’s of stress management
You can’t really move on in life without acceptance. Living in denial gets you nowhere. On the contrary it makes you delusional. Delusion takes you away from reality. This then leads to unwanted and enormous amount of stress. So accept the situation as it is. Stress management involves managing the facts of the situation and filtering out the fiction.
Accept that the year 2020 is a vulnerable year filled with uncertainty. We don’t know if and when we will be able to get back to a COVID free life. Uncertainty of life is a fact. All we have to do is accept it, without taking any stress about it. Live on facts. Do what you have to do. Take all your precautions. Wash your hands frequently, wear a mask while stepping outside and avoid crowded gatherings. Accept your new normal without getting stressed about it.
Do whatever you can, let go of whatever you can’t. Stress arises when we try too hard to do something that we should actually let go. Adjust to the things you can’t control. Stress management involves striking a balance between things we can do and things we ought to let go. Adjust and accommodate. Increase the flexibility of your mind by letting go of your ego. Make space for logical adjustments.
Adjust to the whole work from home, distance learning and live streaming scenarios. You may or may not like it, but you need not stress about it. What you can do is make a choice. Do your best wherever you can. Surrender the outcome. It may not be to your liking, but that is where adjusting comes into play.
You’ve accepted the situation as it is. You’ve adjusted to the new normal. All you have to do now is act accordingly. We have filtered out the so called ‘stressors’ from the first two A’s, so taking action should be an easy ride. Actions taken under stress will have different outcomes. This is because you would have not acted in complete acceptance of the situation. As a result you would have failed to adjust to your actions and behaviour. There will always be things out of your control. And that is okay. Stress arises when we try and control everything (this is also why we subconsciously say "yes" to the question - is hard work necessary for success?). Stress management involves acting according to the best of your rational judgment.
Take for example in an unfortunate circumstance, we or our loved ones succumb to Coronavirus. How is stress going to help us in this situation? It is not, it will only worsen our ability to take action. In fact if we apply the ‘triple’ A formula of stress management, we will be able to accept the situation. Yes, no one is immune to this virus and that is no one’s fault. We accept we have fallen into its trap, now what? Adjust. Be strong and do not let emotional judgment cloud your rational vision. Do whatever you can and leave the rest to a higher reality. Act fast. Act smart. Just control your actions, do not try and control the outcome.
About the author -
Aman is an avid spiritual seeker, the founder and former CEO of LifePositive.com (a global platform for wellness via spirituality), and a passionate Happiness and Emotional Wellness Coach. With clients across the globe, he guides people on stress management by coaching them on how to incorporate the deeper spiritual truths in their daily life.
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