Let us all face it, we’re all stressed, that is right, In fact, a 2017 Gallup poll found that 8 out of 10 Americans are afflicted by the almighty stress factor. Three of the top stresses for Americans today are money, work, and the uncertainty of the nation’s future (not necessarily in that order), according to the American Psychology Association, with the workplace stress accounting for nearly a whopping $200 billion in health-care costs, reported by Forbes.
“Stress is a direct result of our negative emotions that are out of control”, says Elaine Sanders, who is a stress consultant and a life coach. It doesn’t matter what triggers those negative emotions-whether it be pressure from a difficult colleague, a superior or time pressure. Elaine Sanders lists factors such as a low level of resilience and a lack of emotional regulation as a possible contributor to the stress. (you must manage your mood)
Stress is an emotional, physical or mental response to change, Kathleen Hall says, who is the founder and CEO of Mindful Living Network and also The Stress Institute, which helps to promote stress management. However, there’s a difference between chronic stress and acute stress. Kathleen Hall, says that while dealing with some acute stress is normal-think of you being called to the principal’s office or getting into a rush-hour fender bender-chronic stress, which is a day-after-day, week-after-week, month-after-month phenomenon, is not something we as a human species are equipped to handle. Although it is inevitable, there are healthy ways to manage your mood, in the workplace and your daily life.
When you direct your emotions about some up-coming goals or obligations toward positive feelings instead of letting them be focusing on the negative, it can change your attitude, according to Sanders. Always start your day with some intention- start every new task with intention, start all of your interaction with intention, says Sanders. Do not let a negative emotion run away with you blindly. Homing in on your intention-whether for a meeting or any other task that you are setting out to accomplish-will requires some discipline and some imagination. Sanders suggests envisioning how you would go about accomplishing this task at hand and focusing on a specific positive emotion that you would want to feel in that scenario. When you do pick that emotion, practice feeling it over and over so that you can carry that mindset whenever stress starts to arise.
We now live in the era of the upgrade-we’re always looking for something bigger and better in almost every aspect of our lives-and that automatically can set us up for failure, says Hall. People often think that they’ll be less stressed if they acquire a better job or a different or better romantic partner, says Hall. I tell my clients to stop thinking that way. Rather, she suggests finding gratitude for all the things that we already have in our lives now. Focusing on what you do now, says Sanders, can help mitigate the stress about what may be next, by doing this, you are managing your mood.
Sometimes it may take an outside perspective to let us understand that we’re not handling the stress well. That is why the experts suggest that by having someone to truly confide in can perhaps be a key component to reducing your stress. Kathleen Hall suggests finding someone in your personal life or someone at work to lean on. They will be the one to understand and know when you’ve gone AWOL, when you are getting ready to flip a switch or when your productivity has gone down, she says.
Putting the pen to paper can be a therapeutic mode of expression. Write it somewhere-whether it is on your computer or in your journal-the places, the persons and tasks that have been triggers of stress, says Hall. She suggests journaling regularly for at the very least, a month and then reading it back to analyze the level of your happiness. Once you have identified those triggers, talk to your supervisor or manager about these things, she says. ( a good way to manage your mood)
Hall suggests taking 5-or-10 minutes a day to find something that will bring you some serenity-such as finding quiet time to take deep breaths. This will reboot your body and mind, she says. And you do not, need to go it alone. What we do know is community heals and isolation kills. Hall says-there are great benefits to surrounding yourself with caring family and friends or having a pet that you love. She also recommends decorating your space of work with colors and plants to elevate your mood, and it will make you feel less alone.
According to both Sanders and Hall, the biggest misconception about stress is that we must beat it. When we make Mr. stress our enemy, we are creating more stress for ourselves. While some stress arises from unregulated negative emotions, intentionally activating some positive heart emotions such as appreciation, care, compassion and ease decrease our stress by creating physiological harmony, says Sanders. Positive thinking is just not enough here: it must be positive feelings from your heart to affect your body and your brain. What it all comes down to my friends, is learning to react positively-from both mental and emotional standpoints-to negative stresses in our lives, by doing so, you can manage your mood.
Taking time out for some simple activities like bird watching, walking through the park, listening to music or going to an Art Museum can help reduce some of your stress. And place you in a good position to manage your mood. This is your life we are talking about, your future, your happiness, your peace and your tranquility. You must take the responsibility to take control of your emotions and your reactions no matter what the situation might be.
May you be always in good health, humbly your Paul Earl.