Life's Most Common Stressors & Cures: Everyone gets stressed out- but far too many of us choose to push it aside, let it build, and then suffer the consequences. Not all stress is bad. It keeps us striving to reach new goals and makes life worthwhile (even exciting at times). When stress starts to compromise our emotions and health, it's time to pump the brakes and map out a new course.
Want to feel better despite the many stressors life throws your way? The following infographic lays out some of life's most common sources of stress. In addition, you will find simple yet practical tips to help steer clear of these pitfalls, or develop a healthier relationship with those you can't avoid:
Life's Most Common Stressors & Cures - #1: Finances
At first, crafting a budget may seem like it can only add to your financial stress. However, it is the most powerful tool you have to get control of your finances and stop worrying about money. A budget allows you to decide when and how to spend your money. It is essentially a spending plan that makes sure you are reaching savings and retirement goals. It can also help you find extra money to put toward debt. Start with just one month's worth of expenses, and go from there cutting back in different areas each month until you find the right balance.
Life's Most Common Stressors & Cures - #2: Not Enough Sleep
Healthy sleep habits can make a huge difference in your quality of life. Healthy sleep habits are often referred to as having good sleep hygiene. Stick to a strict sleep schedule of the same bedtime and wake up time, even on the weekends. This will help regulate your body's clock and can improve both quantity and quality of sleep. If you continue to have trouble sleeping, try to avoid taking naps, especially in the afternoon. Power naps may help you get through the day, but if you are unable to fall asleep at bedtime, eliminating even the shortest catnaps may prove helpful.
Life's Most Common Stressors & Cures - #3: Technostress
It's nearly impossible to avoid technology in our world today. Our daily interactions with devices (especially cell phones) should be guided by moderation. Technology doesn't automatically stress us out, it's all about how we deal with it. Try to take regular tech breaks and do things the old-fashioned way when possible. Write to-do lists with pen and paper, or keep a journal for ideas and observations. Every two hours do something that calms the brain: listen to music, call a friend, or take a walk. Change your attitude to accept the fact that you can be productive when away from the computer (...or tablet, cell phone, Xbox, etc.).
Life's Most Common Stressors & Cures - #4: Criticism
To succeed in life, both personally and professionally, it is vitally important to take criticism in stride. Listening to the opinions of others can improve relationships, academic performance, and job satisfaction. Figure out if the criticism is intended to be constructive or just rude. If it can help, try to learn from it rather than get on the defensive. Don't take bad results and reviews personally, but use them as opportunities to improve.
Life's Most Common Stressors & Cures - #5: Workload
Anyone who has ever held a job has felt the pressure of work-related stress. Today's employees are expected to do more with less, making work an increasingly problematic source of stress. When work stress becomes chronic, it can be harmful to both physical and emotional health. Make sure to take care of yourself by setting aside time for enjoyable activities and friends. Try to reconnect with what you love about your job.
Life's Most Common Stressors & Cures - #6: Illness
Living with a chronic illness can be stressful, but there are ways to manage the condition and maintain a good quality of life. Once you move past the initial shock of diagnosis, it's helpful to learn how to cope with the daily stresses of living with your illness. Learn as much as you can about the illness and treatment needs. Make time for relationships and activities that leave you feeling happy and supported, and avoid people and things that cause undue stress.
Life's Most Common Stressors & Cures - #7: Relationships
Stress can undermine our closest and most valued relationships. When we are feeling stressed out, our home should feel like a safe haven where we can find relief and support. Don't be too critical or assign blame to your partner, as this will not contribute to unity. Find opportunities to encourage each other, and seek professional help if you think you need it. When handled correctly, challenging experiences can actually bring couples closer.