Simple stress management helps you to lead a happier, healthier, and more productive life. Try to aim for a balance with time for success, family, relaxation, and fun. Understanding stress management helps you to be savvy. Don’t fight stress. Instead, embrace it. Use the stress to make your life better.
What Is Stress?
Stress is like a loud noise that disrupts the silence of a tennis rally. Unfortunately stressors like loud noises can cause negative emotions in us. As a consequence, we often tend to loose our balance or rhythm. Why do we seem to heavily depend on staying in tune with ourselves? There is probably no straight answer. But it seems like the moon, water, or the season our bodies like to run in a constant rhythm. A good example are sports like tennis or golf where the athletes heavily depend on staying in their rhythm. Since stressors are often caused by somethings that is beyond our control, we need to find an answer how to stay in tune with ourselves. Therefore, we would like to introduce you to the concept of simple stress management.
Why do we need Simple Stress Management?
The Tennis Tournament in Wimbledon is nearly as famous as the Queen herself; just getting there is already an achievement. Tickets are hard to find.
A few years ago, our sports agency was about to get a new client. Therefore, we got invited to watch a live match at the “All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club”. “Wow”, I thought, but with the next business trip coming up, there was a big question on my mind: what am I going to do with my five year old? Traveling was an important requirement of our business. Naturally, it made me feel very guilty to always leave our daughter with her grandparents.
Luckily, Angie Kerber is one of the nicest and best players on the tour. Thus, so we decided to take our daughter with us. Certainly, I always brought something to play for our little one. But even with the best planning, things that cause us stress are often beyond our control. In our case, I had underestimated two things. First of all, the silence on the court during the rallies. Secondly, I thought traveling on a one hours flight to London would be less exhausting. Instead, I had to learn that traveling can be very tiring – not only for adults. Out of the blue the silence of the match was interrupted by a very loud yawn of our sweet little blonde daughter. Every single eye was staring at us. Even though it made most people smile, I was very embarrassed as I had planned to avoid disturbing our new client.
As a result, I decided that I needed “Simple Stress Management”.
How Do You Handle Stress And Pressure
Let’s get advice from someone who has proven being able to handle stress and pressure. The billionaire and hedge fund manager Ray Dalio had both for many years. Therefore, let`s look what he has to say: “The better we know ourselves, the better we can recognize both what can be changed and how to change it, and what can`t be changed and what we can do about that. So no matter what you set out to do – whether on your own, as a member of an organization, or as its director – you need to understand how you and other people are wired.
How about you? Do you already know who you are?
Creating tools to cope with things that are beyond our control makes us stronger and more resilient to stress. As a consequence outside effects cannot easily take over control of our lives anymore. Having those tools is one of the most significant characteristics of a resilient person.
Have the courage to find out what makes you strong and what makes you weak!
How Stress Affects the Body
In today’s fast-paced world, we often go through life without paying much attention to our own well being. So why, when time is so valuable, should you pay attention to stress? What does stress have to do with you? Certainly, everyone feels stressed from time to time. This means that we feel overloaded and struggle to cope with demands – our own and external ones. There is always a stressor involved that triggers a stress response in our bodies.
The stress response is the body’s way of protecting us mentally and physically. When working properly, it helps us stay focused, energized, and alert. For example, when we go on a first date, it can keep us feeling lively and excited about the situation. In emergency situations, stress can save our life by giving us extra strength to defend ourselves. For example, lifting a heavy object that has fallen on a loved one.
Why We Have To Pay More Attention To Stress
In our busy world, stress is normal and widely socially accepted. So are common drugs to cope with the side effects of too much stress (like sleep problems or chronic fatigue). You have probably already asked yourself if stress can make you sick. Here is a quick overview what stress does to the body
|Cognitive symptoms||Behavioral Symptoms||Emotional symptoms||Physical symptoms|
|Memory problems||Overeating or undereating||Feeling overwhelmed||Headache|
|Seeing only the negative||Using drugs to relax||Sadness/Depression||Sleeping problems|
|Constant worrying||Drugs or alcohol misuse||Angry outbursts||Frequent colds or flu|
|Poor judgement||Tobacco use||Loneliness/isolation||Upset Stomach|
|Inability to focus or concentrate||Social withdrawal||Moodiness, irritability, or anger||Muscle tension|
|Disorganization||Procrastinating or neglecting responsibilities||Lack of inner harmony||Less sex drive|
|Racing Thoughts||Sleeping too much or little||Anxiety and agitation||Diarrhea or constipation|
Stress symptoms may be affecting your health, even though you might not realize it. You may think illness is to blame for that irritating headache, your frequent insomnia or your decreased productivity at work. But stress may actually be the cause. Stress that’s left unchecked can contribute to many health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes.
What Causes Stress?
Stress always has a reason. Usually, stress is distinguished by internal or external causes called stressors. Knowing the cause can be the first step to more well-being.
List of 12 Stressors and their causes
|Emotional stressors||Caused by are own emotions||What is behind your fears? They often have to do with our beliefs like feeling not good enough for example|
|Family stressors||Disharmony in relationships or conflicts with teenagers||Different values in a relationship. Not setting boundaries for your kids. Growing distance with family members.|
|Social stressors||Caused by interactions with others||Going to parties, meeting the “wrong” people or simply dating can cause stress on different levels. Looking for love in the wrong places.|
|Change stressors||Caused by bigger life changes||Examples: Moving, new job, marriage, having a baby, divorce|
|Chemical stressors||Caused by any kind of chemical, such as drugs, drinks or foods||Examples: Alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, foods that cause allergies or sensitivity|
|Organizational stressors||Caused by pressure to perform, conflicts, lack of support, too high of expectations by others or oneself||Anxious about not meeting personal or given goals, lack of financial success, too long of working hours, lack of work/life balance|
|Decision stressors||Caused by the need to make important decisions||Example: fear to make bad decisions like taking the right job, getting married or moving to another town, leaving a toxic relationship|
|Phobic stressors||Caused by a situation that seems to scare you to death||Height, tight spaces, specific animals (like spiders)|
|Physical stressors||Situations overtaxing your body||Lack of sleep or exercise, standing or sitting all day, irregular or unhealthy foods|
|Disease stressors||Caused by long-term or short term health issues||Can cause stress for example, you cannot go to work, be triggered by stress (like herpes), be aggravated by stress (like headaches)|
|Pain stressors||Acute or chronic pain||Can cause stress, or be aggravated by stress|
|Environmental stressors||Noise, pollution, lack of personal space, climate (too much cold or heat)||Car noise at night for example|
When To Take Action
A little stress here and there is a normal part of life, but when we are constantly running in emergency mode, our mind and body pay the price. If we frequently find ourselves feeling frazzled and overwhelmed, it’s time to be savvy. It is a signal to take action to bring our nervous system back into balance.
Simple Stress Management – How to Relieve Stress
To get rid of stress we need to apply some common sense. Most strategies recommend meditation, exercise or sleep. Dealing with the symptoms and will most likely give some relief. But when we experience stress overloads over longer periods of time, we need to focus on the cause before finding the cure! We need to be savvy and try to learn from our experiences.
Part 1: What causes your stress?
What one person finds stressful may be very different from what another finds stressful. Thus, it is about finding your personal strategy to handle stress.
Firstly, we suggest two different strategies for identification:
- Look at the list above and find the stressor type that affects you. A very common one is stress from your environment, like noise or light pollution. This might seem minor to some of us. But there are books filled with codes that restrict our outside lights shining into our neighbors bedrooms and making sure we don’t have to hear our neighbors love for country music.
- Close your eyes and try to sense or remember 5 things in the past that have really stressed you out. Go to the list above for further information if needed.
If you have no clue at all, ask your parents, friends, partners/spouses or co-workers. People in your surroundings can often tell you very quickly what makes you upset. It is usually a stressor that you might not have even noticed. My family, for example, knows that too much noise, or a lack of sleep or food will turn my mood in the wrong direction.
Part 2: How to de-stress
Secondly, we encourage you to learn what could make you feel better. Look at the three alternatives below. We believe that we need to work at what causes us stress. Stability work helps you find ways to increase your resilience against stressors. Emergency tools can help you be prepared for stress that is beyond your control.
|Stressor-WorkReduce, eliminate, accept stressors||Stability WorkMake yourself more resilient to stress||Emergency WorkTools for stressful moments|
|Look at your stressors and Check if you can||Find and exercise you like doing regularly||Check if you can withdraw from the situation by|
|Eliminate the stressor||Create daily habits that make you stronger like 5-10 minutes of plank – like push ups||Going to the washroom|
|Reduce the strength of the stressor||Eat what is “healthy” for your body regularly||Avoid eye contact|
|Only change your attitude towards the stressors because you have no control over the stressor||Get more fresh air/oxygen||Watch/take control of your emotions|
|Create a positive relationship with your body by asking yourself regularly: What do I feel right now?|
|Define and follow your core values (add link to article)|
|Confront yourself with stressors to become resilient|
Keep in mind that using a passive strategy, like escaping the stressor by watching TV, or avoiding your spouse, can have very negative long-term impacts on your well-being.
To sum up, Simple Stress Management has two major components: identifying the reason for our stress and finding a personal strategy on how to cope with it.
My personal consequences from my Wimbledon visit was to organize a babysitter for the match. Furthermore, prioritize when to go on business travel and when to spend time with my daughter instead.
Fun ideas to lower stress – how to make a stress ball
When we are stressed out, our bodies tense up and we physically clench. A stress ball prompts you to squeeze and therefore release your stress. It is a simple way to make you reduce stress quickly.
Other simple ideas are lighting a candle or having a cup of herbal tea.
Be Savvy – Be Smart – Trust SimpleSavvySmart
We believe that being emotionally, physically and mentally strong makes us more resilient and gives us more freedom and peace of mind. We consider knowing how to handle stress a mental skill. It is one of the most challenging but rewarding at the same time. Therefore, we believe that simple stress management should be an active part of our life.
Change is never easy but getting rid of stress will improve your overall well-being and life quality tremendously. Awareness is the first step.