Struggling with stress? Everybody has struggled with stress at some point and it is becoming increasingly common for it to be a daily struggle for many individuals. Do you ever find yourself grabbing that bar of chocolate you told yourself you were saving for the weekend, or having that extra glass of wine? This is more than likely a cause of stress and is what we like to call comfort or emotional eating/drinking. Stress is very common within this generation; however, many individuals do not try to overcome this battle which can significantly impact our health. Therefore, rather than covering up the problem or pretending it doesn’t exist, the best way is to directly identify and tackle the cause of this stress.
Just for a minute I want you to take a step back. I’m sure even though you’re reading this all you can think about is the 10 jobs you should be doing right now. But for now, forget all of that and just focus on you. I’d like you to grab a piece of paper and a pen and I want you to write down the top 3 things in life causing you stress. The thing is with stress we can tackle the problem, we just need to know what the problem is. So once you can identify this, you are one step closer to a stress-free lifestyle. A very common cause of stress is the pressure that we put on ourselves to succeed. Whether it is to get the job title we’ve always wanted or to get the salary we believe will make us happy. Although it is a magnificent trait to possess to have that drive to succeed in life, but sometimes people become too over powered by success. Let’s look at the bigger picture for a moment. We all have one main drive in our lives. Most of you could probably instantly label yours. How long will it take you to get there? 3 months? 3 years? 10 years? These dreams that we have are not always easy to achieve and if we become too focused on the end result, we forget to enjoy ourselves along the journey. 10 years is a long time to work towards your goal without enjoying yourself along the way and quite often people lose themselves and forget what they are actually working for.
Let’s take myself as an example here. For the past three years I have put my absolute heart and soul into my degree to the point where I left very minimal time to enjoy myself. Sometimes it left me feeling as though I physically couldn’t get out of bed and would even have a constant headache for weeks (this is the body’s defence mechanism to protect itself from damage!). We all know that one student that is stress-free, parties every night and have an amazing social life; however, their grades reflect this. Therefore, it’s essential to find the perfect balance between working hard and enjoying yourself. I always told myself it was simply short term and sometimes short term pain is worth the long term gain, but you need to ask yourself what’s more important to you in the bigger picture.
A very common problem upon achieving dreams is that people always think; what next? Some individuals can never be happy with what they’ve got and they strive to get the next best thing and so enjoying the journey is so important to not get caught up in this trap. How can we enjoy the journey you ask? Focus on YOU. In life we need three habitual places to spend our time. This includes our home, our work place and finally, a happy place, but many people do not have that third happy place. Everyone in life has something they are passion about, whether it be spending time with their friends or looking after their health and fitness. You just need to find what’s right for you. For me, whenever I felt stressed, no matter how much I felt I couldn’t go to the gym, I knew I would feel so much better after. Fitness has so many health benefits which include a reduction in stress and the ability to deal with stressful situations more effectively. So for me, I could not have completed my degree without my third happy place, fitness! Do you have that third place? If not, why not? My challenge to you is to answer these questions and hopefully this may help you put your current situation into perspective:
- What are you currently working towards?
- How long will it take you to get there?
- What can you do to make this a happier and a less stressful journey?
- Will your main drive in life really make you happy once you achieve it?
- What would really make you happy?
What are you waiting for?! Becoming the happiest version of you is always worth investing in, start something new today!