Did you know that 3 in 5 adults don’t discuss their stress issues because they don’t want to burden others? But suffering in silence, however well-meaning, isn’t the answer.
At a time of year when many people are still committed to their New Year’s resolutions, this may be the right time to learn how to deal with stress.
According to the American Institute of Stress, 55% of Americans are stressed throughout the day. That’s higher than the global average of 35%. It adds that almost 6 in 10 US respondents say their stress level is so high they feel paralysed. And around 6 in 10 US workers are ready to quit their jobs to avoid work-related stress. So, dealing with stress better is a worthy goal.
What follows are four ways you can handle stress better in 2024 than you ever have before.
1. Ensure you’re well rested
According to one source, adults require 7–9 hours of sleep daily. If you’re not in this ballpark range, you’re shortchanging yourself and jeopardising your health. Failing to get sufficient sleep every day can lead to higher stress, depression, anxiety, and frustration levels.
It can also reduce your memory, patience, and problem-solving abilities. So, it makes sense to commit to getting quality sleep every day for better mental health. When you get enough shut-eye, you’ll be better prepared to deal with situations that trigger stress.
2. Steer clear of negativity
Another way to deal with stress better this year is to learn how to deal with people in your life – whether at home, work, or elsewhere – who cause you stress. Is there someone you know who is hard to deal with? If you’re around negative people, that can be stressful. You might get secondhand stress just by being around them. Secondhand stress, according to an article in the Harvard Business Review, is a real thing. If your colleagues are stressed out, you’re likely to feel the impact and, in turn, feel stressed out. It’s like a vicious cycle.
If the people in your life are raising your stress level to excessively high levels, you’ll need to make some changes. That might mean putting some distance between you and some people. It might mean outright avoiding people who are negative, since negative energy can bring you down.
3. Talk to someone
Bottling things up is the wrong way to deal with stress. No, you don’t have to be an open book. But speaking to someone and sharing what you’re going through can help you deal with stress. If you have a loved one or friend you can trust, share as much as you’re comfortable sharing. Depending on the extent of the problem, you might want to contact a professional for counselling. Speaking to a psychologist can give you tools to deal with stress or any issues leading to stress.
The worst thing you can do is ignore the problem. Problems won’t disappear simply because you act like they don’t exist. Address the issues by speaking to people. You’ll feel better if you do.
4. Tackle problems directly
Do you intend to shirk from dealing with serious issues in your life? Whether it’s a toxic relationship that’s reached its breaking point, bad choices that have led to DUI or OWI criminal charges, or self-doubt that’s sabotaging your career, deal with issues head-on. Burying your head in the sand will make matters even worse. So, deal with problems directly rather than dilly-dally.
Following these tips can make a big difference that positively impacts every area of your life. Remember that you don’t have to do it alone. Sometimes, you’ll need a helping hand or a listening ear. Getting the help you need can help you deal with unavoidable stress and eliminate avoidable stress.
Jeffrey Grant, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.