You can take a healthy amount of stress and use it to drive yourself forward. However, when you’re overwhelmed with stress, that’s when things go awry. You find it hard to focus and you don’t know what to do. Sadly, stress has now been synonymous with success, and there’s no way to eliminate all the external sources of stress in your life.
What you can do is be present and know how to manage your emotions when you’re in a stressful situation.
Focus on Achievable Goals
Stress can make it hard to focus on things you can achieve, but that’s when you need to work extra hard to find those goals. You can be stressed about needing to do a lot of things in such a short time, but the stressing itself could take all your time. Rather than letting stress take over and not being productive, think of what you can easily achieve. The feeling of accomplishment that comes with completing easy tasks will help remind you that you can do things and you can do them well. Use stress as a driver for you to move forward with your goals, not as an obstacle that stops you from getting things done. Make stress your best friend. Instead of being restless, be focused.
Gradually Work on More Difficult Tasks
Coming back from an accident can be an especially stressful time. You have your whiplash treatment in Salt Lake City as part of your new schedule, and the tasks you’ve accumulated while you were recuperating might feel like big mountains you can’t climb. Just like big mountains, however, there are paths you can follow to get to your destination. You already know how to do the smaller goals; work your way up to the more difficult ones. The trick is to give your mind easy successes until you can be confident enough to do more. List down the tasks you need to finish and label them according to difficulty.
Here’s another tip: label a medium-difficulty task as an easy one to trick your brain into thinking you can achieve it easily. If you can do that, you can look at a difficult task as an easily achievable milestone too.
Give Yourself a Mental Pat on the Back
Stress is already hard to manage on its own; your lack of faith in yourself can add to your insecurities and pile on top of your stress. You may be looking for acknowledgment of your efforts, but it just doesn’t come. Your boss remains oblivious. Your colleagues are all too stressed to thank you for taking one for the team. Don’t let their lack of recognition define your self-worth. At the end of the day, there’s proof that you got your job done and that you have been a valuable asset to your company. Congratulate and thank yourself for these achievements. Validation from other people feels nice, but you should validate your efforts just as much.
You can focus on all the bad things that could happen, or you can focus on things that can be made better. When you’re stressed, do the productive thing and be mindful of things you can control.