Self, Health And Wellness

Why Changing The Way You Deal With Stress Will Change Your Life For The Better

Photo: Gian Cescon via Unsplash
How To Reduce Stress & Overwhelm By Thinking Positively & Controlling Your Thoughts

Dealing with stress is not easy but things can change, if you're willing to take the first step and learn how to control you thoughts and start thinking positively. 

First things first, how tired are you? Are you stressed? Overwhelmed? You’re not alone. And once you learn how to deal with stress, you'll find your life changing for the better.

RELATED: 10 Ways To Get Real With Yourself About Stress (So Life Doesn't Burn You Out)

Hands down, some of the top things I hear as a coach are:

  • "I’m stressed out."
  • "I’m so tired."
  • "I have so much to do."

Couple that with the thought that we’re the only ones that can do it correctly or "If it’s going to get done, I’m the one that has to do it", and you have a recipe for exhaustion, resentment, and isolation.

Enter a coach advising to add some pleasure to your day and it’s a wonder I don’t get more hate mail.

But, here's the good news: It doesn’t have to be this way.

You don’t have to go through life feeling overwhelmed and stressed with bone-numbing fatigue. I promise. Even though you’re a busy person and even though you have things to do, places to go, and people to see, I get it.

And, still, coping with stress doesn’t have to be this way.

Why should you believe me? Because I’ve been there, warriors.

I ended up in a hospital after having 32 seizures in one weekend from being overwhelmed, stressed, and fatigued.

I know your pain and now strive to model what is possible — a different way of living.

So let’s get started and talk about effective stress management. 

And before you say you can't, what’s your excuse? You say you don’t have enough time? You say it won’t work for you?

If that's the case, then you don’t want it bad enough.

Yes, you heard me. You don’t want to learn how to reduce stress badly enough.

Yep, get mad at me. Big emotions fuel big change. Tell me all the excuses you have about why you’re stressed, overwhelmed, and fatigued.

When you want it bad enough, you stop looking for reasons why you can’t have it.

You stop listening to the excuses in your brain. You stop looking around you to find evidence for why it won’t work for you.

Instead, you think "what if…?" You open the window of possibility. You start looking for ways you could shift your thoughts and learn how to relieve stress. You look around at others who are doing it and open your mind to think, "If it’s possible for them, then maybe it’s possible for me."

And the first step to feeling less overwhelmed, less stressed, and less debilitating fatigue? Take responsibility for your current situation.

Yes, you’re busy. Yes, you’re overwhelmed. Yes, life feels stressful. And, no, we weren’t taught emotional intelligence in school.

Luckily we know better now. We now know that our thoughts create our feelings. Yes, even the feelings of overwhelm, stress, or fatigue. We feel stress, overwhelm, and fatigue because of the thoughts we’re thinking.

RELATED: How Accepting The World (And Yourself!) Can Help You Manage Anxiety & Stress

Before you argue with me that your situation is different, please play along.

Have you ever had someone complain to you about something that’s going on in their life that’s totally stressing them out and you think, "Oh my god, if only that were my problem?!" Ask any 16-year old what they’re stressed about and you’ll probably experience this situation.

They may be stressed because they have to go to soccer practice, finish a math homework assignment, check in with their Snapchat friends, and what…now you want them to make their bed?!?

When they’re done yelling about why they can’t possibly make their bed, they may say they feel stressed, overwhelmed and fed up. Similar to you, ey?

Yet, you look at their situation and think, "Come on! You don’t pay the mortgage, you didn’t have to shop for the food [stress, overwhelm, thought work, cognitive coaching, cut] you’re eating, you don’t have to think of anything but yourself…..tough life."

Yet, if you have a teen, you know, their stress is real. They’re feeling it. Big time.

What I’m pointing out is that it’s not the situation that’s causing their stress. How do we know that? Their situation wouldn’t stress you out. It wouldn’t stress me out. What’s stressing them out is their thoughts about their situation.

Same with you. It’s not your situation that causes you to feel stressed, it’s your thoughts about the situation.

This is awesome news!

What this means is that we have control over what we feel. We have a lot more control than we thought we did when we thought our situation caused our stress. When I used to think that the length of my to-do list or my son’s attitude caused my stress, I felt out of control and my stress would feel even more crushing.

Learning that it was my thoughts that cause my feelings was life-changing and freeing for me. One of the easiest ways to start lessening and managing stress, fatigue, and overwhelm is to pay attention to what we’re telling ourselves about our situation.

Pay attention to what you are saying to yourself and which thoughts you’re choosing to focus on.

I actually wish I could pay you $100 to do this because I promise you’ll feel less stress, overwhelm and fatigue. Too often I tell people of this tool and they don’t use it because they think it’s too simple or won’t really make a difference.

It makes all the difference warriors! It really can be this simple.

Start in the morning: What thoughts are you thinking about your day? Spend 30 seconds to 3 minutes checking in with your brain and you will feel better. Ask yourself any of these questions:

  • "What do I want my day to be like?"
  • "How do I want to feel during my day?"
  • "How do I want to show up as a woman, worker, mom, wife?"
  • "What do I want to act like?"
  • "How do I want to feel at the end of my day?"

I am so passionate about helping you lessen overwhelm and stress as I've been in both places: 110 percent overwhelm and fatigue to today, living a life I love.

Could you try it this week? What do you have to lose? (Besides stress, reactivity, and overwhelm?)

If you want a different experience in your life, you must do something differently. If you want to feel differently you must focus on different thoughts. 

Why not commit to starting your day with 30 minutes of mindfulness? It’s truly your choice.

RELATED: 5 Toxic Ways Stress Affects Your Love Life (& How To Stop It From Ruining Your Relationship)

Susie Barolo is a Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Coach and Podcast host of the weekly Love Your Life Show. Sign up for her weekly newsletter to help you live a life you love!

This article was originally published at SMB Well website. Reprinted with permission from the author.