It has always been something of a given that adulthood brings with it a certain level of stress. For most folks that has always been manageable, but the economic events of the past few years has meant that there is a lot more stress to go around. You can’t switch on the TV or pick up the newspaper without hearing about another round of layoffs, a record number of foreclosures, and the number of people unemployed reaching percentages that are more than just a little alarming. It’s easy for stress to take a hold, but you have to figure out a way to keep it at bay as much as possible and stop it from ruling your life. Let’s look at a few ways you can do just that.
The first thing you have to do is limit the amount of negative news that you are exposed to. We’ve already said that much of the bad economic information is delivered via the media, so adjust the types of programming that you watch and switch your reading habits. This is especially true if you are unemployed and looking for work, as that sort of negative press can dishearten even the most upbeat of job searcher. It doesn’t mean that you have to ignore the media altogether, it just means you should watch and read something entertaining and fun as opposed to being bombarded with doom and gloom.
Having a little too much time on your hands can often lead to you thinking about all the negative aspects of your life. The more you linger on those negatives, the more likely you are to allow stress into your life. Try to establish a regular daily routine and stick to it as much as possible. Keeping yourself busy is one of the best ways to keep stress at bay and it can also be beneficial to loved ones. Stress has a way of rubbing off on people that you are close too, as they tend to worry when they see you doing the same. Positive actions beget positive thoughts, so fill up your calendar and stick to your schedule.
While a busy schedule is a good thing to maintain, it can only be achieved if you are in good health. Stress can wear you down physically, as it often results in lack of sleep and the loss of desire to eat properly. You have to make sure to look after your mind and body, as doing so will give you the strength and energy to tackle every day in search of positive outcomes. You might think about starting your day with a nice, brisk walk and a good breakfast, as that is often enough to fill your energy reserves for the day ahead. You could also end your day by keeping a journal that lists the positive things that happened during your day. These don’t have to be major events, but just a few good things to help you hit the pillow with a smile.