Four Solutions to Life's Most Stressful Situations
Posted by Meg Thompson on August 16, 2012 at 11:47 AM
Life is bound to throw you some curveballs. Maybe you think you're boss is out to get you or a close friend passes away. Don't let the stress take over your entire life. Before you blow up on the next person who crosses you or blow your hard earned cash on retail therapy, take a moment to read our advice. We'll show you how to deal with some of the most stressful situations you can encounter.
The stressor: A big presentation
The solution: Follow a Routine
When you’re facing a big presentation in front of your colleagues or you’re playing a critical role, you need to treat it like a regular situation. How do you deal with this situation when the stakes aren’t as high? Start thinking of the steps you take when you’re giving a presentation in front of just a few coworkers. You study and prepare the material, right? Do the same even when you’re presenting in front of the big shots; it’s just that simple. When you establish a routine, even the difficult moments become routine, too.
As Chauncey Billups, a Detroit Pistons point guard, describes his formula for nailing two free throws to tie a game in the fourth quarter: "I know it's a big shot, but I don't even think about the moment. If I put more pressure on it, then it becomes a mental thing. I treat it the same as a free throw in the first quarter by doing the same routine every single time. I focus on the rim. I take four dribbles, spin the ball, and get up under it. My routine puts me into a calm state. It's just me and the rim."
The Stressor: Your boss or a customer is hassling you, and you’re about to explode
The Solution: Call a Time Out
Actually, that’d be awesome if you could literally call a time out, but since we don’t have referees in real life you just need to take a personal time out from the situation. If your boss or a customer won’t stop hassling you, just politely excuse yourself for a moment. Now, you can head to a bathroom or another secluded place. When you’re alone allow the anger and frustration to wash over you. Give yourself a few moments to feel it, and then let. it. go. Now head back to your boss, coworker, or customer and say, "What can I do to help work this out?" No matter what, they’ll appreciate your non-aggressive statement. Letting your anger fester increases the chance you'll overreact.
The Stressor: Someone near and dear passed away
The Solution: Schedule Time to Grieve
With everything moving so fast in life, we often feel pressured to quickly move on and never deal with our emotions after a loss. Confront those emotions now so you won’t have unresolved issues later.
Try to schedule 10 minutes for 2 days every week of alone time to grieve. It’s probably best to do this in the early evening. Allow yourself to look over photos, cry, or just reflect over the pain. Ask yourself two questions: What have you lost? What’s the effect? Once you address what’s missing from your life you can shift to problem solving. Then hit the gym. It will end the grieving session and the endorphins will lift your mood. Doing those two activities together shows how both sadness and happiness can exist together.
The stressor: Your to-do list at work reads like a phone book, and is just as full
The Solution: Make a Grateful List
Add another 10 entries to that list. The difference is these 10 entries must be things you are grateful for. Keep in mind that on-the-job stress is an indication that you’re doing well. You wouldn’t be trusted with a ton of work if your boss didn’t think you were capable of handling it. Practice being grateful for your life and the opportunities you’ve been given. Your list can include your friend who’s always there for you, your dog who loves you, the fact you can afford meals when others are starving, and even your job. When you’re finished, things will be in perspective and you’ll feel grateful to be so lucky as to even have a job.
How do you deal when life hands you a big problem? Share your advice below!