My mother would say I have always been an anxious person. When I was 20 years old, a psychiatrist backed up that claim and I was formally diagnosed with Generalised Anxiety Disorder. I’ve been on antidepressants for the near-decade since that diagnosis.
My anxiety is largely under control now, thanks in combination to my medication, therapy, and personal development work that has empowered me to create a life largely free of triggers. Still, there are some things I can’t control, and there are still moments where I feel anxiety and stress come in. Luckily, most of those are from things that stress anyone out–looming deadlines, moving, health crises, and the like.
I’m quite proud of how far my mental health has come, and how much better I am at controlling my stress. I no longer feel so overwhelmed and am much better able to manage my emotions in difficult situations. Here are the things that have worked best for me when it comes to dealing with stress:
- Accept it. Sometimes things are just stressful, and there’s nothing wrong with you for feeling the impacts of such a situation! As we have always said here at Centrd Life, acceptance is the prerequisite for any change. Once I stopped judging myself for feeling stress and anxiety, I was able to find ways to cope.
- Write everything down. When I have a hectic week coming up, I write down a list of everything I have to do. Even if I know I won’t get everything done, seeing the worries of my brain on paper (or on my laptop) make the endless to-do list feel much more manageable. During exams week at university, I would write out a schedule on big pieces of A4 paper and tape them to my wall. The visual clarity really helped me determine what was important for me to accomplish.
- Eat the frog. A lot of work productivity experts recommend starting your day with the hardest task, the one you’re dreading the most. Once that’s done, you’ll get an enormous sense of accomplishment, and everything else will feel effortless in comparison.
- Ask for help. This is often the hardest one for me. When it comes to work stress, I often feel like I’m letting my team down if I ask for help on something. And when it comes to personal stress, I feel like I’m a burden on my loved ones if I need their support. I constantly have to remind myself that those thoughts are just my insecurity getting the best of me, and not rooted in truth at all. I can be strong, capable, and independent, and still need help. It just makes me human!
Stress is an inevitable part of life, but there are ways to prevent it from getting the better of you.
Our Tools for Dealing with Social Anxiety toolkit has many great tips and tricks on how to ground yourself in moments of stress. When your body no longer feels that anxiety, it’s easier for your mind to take action and alleviate the cause of stress.
How do you cope with stress? Let us know in the comments below. And as always, we’re here to help you on your own wellbeing journey.
Lots of love,