How To Effectively Manage Your Stress

“It’s not the situation but how you deal with the situation that determines your stress.” How true is that? Let’s analyze our views of life. Basically there are two types of views: one thinks that he has control over his destiny, known as the people with internal locus of control; and the other one thinks that his fate is predestined, and he is where he’s meant to be, or known as the external locus of control.

For example, John – who is a person with an internal locus of control – believes that his current position in the company is the result of his academic excellence, effort and hard work for years, and he greatly deserves to be where he is. Then one fateful day he is involved in a car accident and injured. One week after his recovery his wife was diagnosed with tumor. He feels helpless for a while, but it doesn’t take him too much time to pull his spirit and determination together and come up with a strategic plan on how to deal with the situation, and preparing for Plan B. This is because John believes he is capable.

Tom – a person with an external locus of control – thinks that his good job is fate, meant to be his no matter what he does. Tom might be the type of person who believes that he has earn good karma from his previous lives and therefore is blessed in his current life. One day he too is involved in an accident. He went for treatment and spent a fortune on the medical bills and car repairs. Later on he found out that his wife has gambling debts and she needs to settle them before anybody could harm his family. He feels helpless and overwhelmed, thinking what might go wrong, what he could possibly have done to deserve such troubles, and what will be next in store for him. He starts to worry unnecessarily.

Comparing the two, the optimistic John is more likely to be better at handling stress by being proactive at working on the solutions. Tom is passive and receptive to whatever’s coming his way and we know that Tom is not doing himself a favor. There are in fact, a lot of people like Tom out there. To be a capable person like John, look at life positively and believe in yourself. Encourage a lifestyle that would help you to feel good about yourself like doing yoga, socializing and participating in community service. Most importantly, enjoy what you are doing!

Remember that stress isn’t all that negative, depending on how we see it. Some of us might enjoy stress because it gives us the right temperature to achieve our goals. It keeps us awake, forces the creative side of our brain to produce ideas by continuously sending the alarm signals, and gives us momentum to leap forward. This is how people like John keep their situations under control.

Learn to let go. Don’t keep it to yourself too long. If the need arises, find someplace private and shout out loud! Feel the stress thrown out of the body. Most importantly we must create awareness in ourselves that everything happens for a reason. Look on the bright side of life and do the best to overcome difficulties. Mentally exercise yourself by creating different scenarios and possible solutions to build up your confidence. Keep your mind above matters. Find a mentor to talk to, someone who might help to review the stress management strategies you’ve used and be able to add or comment on those. Two heads are better than one, after all. Lastly, know that no matter what comes your way, you are not alone.

One thing you have to realize about stress management is you can’t see the result overnight. In order to successfully manage stress in the long run, you have to be consistent in doing it, and you must have patience. Although it’s impossible to have your stress management strategies to make you 100% stress-free, be committed and never give up on life.