One of the greatest causes of stress and mental ill-health can be a disparity between expectation and achievement, between hope and actual result. Happiness and mental wellbeing are not about playing out a fictitious role conjured up by authors and journalists. Happiness is about coming to terms with reality.
Forget what you ought to do. Learn to live with yourself. Most importantly, learn to love yourself for who you are.
Taking action is one of the best ways of coping with stress; doing something, doing almost anything will help. One of the best ways to manage stress is to start analyzing the problem on paper.
Define it, write down as many solutions as you can think of and select the most realistic two or three. Opt for one of these if you can and write down an action plan, taking into account each step you need to take to bring about a solution.
Even just the act of writing everything down should help you see your problem in proportion and will scale down the stress-producing difficulty.
Follow your plan through and you should feel less stressed. If you don’t or it doesn’t work, you can always try one of your other options.
Three important tips on coping with stress:
- Make a list of your three best attributes. Do people describe you, for example, as generous, affectionate and trustworthy? Carry the list with you and read it to yourself whenever you find yourself thinking unpleasant thoughts.
- Keep a list of affirmations to say to yourself when under stress. It’s amazing – chanting simple phrases such as “I really can handle this” can divert the stress response.
- Keep a diary of all the small, pleasant events that happen and talk about them with your partner or friend every day. Write down what you did for enjoyment or fun. Look back at your diary every week to see what progress you have made and to make plans for what you intend to achieve next week.