How to Keep the Inner Flame Burning and Keep Moving Forward
Do you feel like everything is against you? How often do you struggle with confidence caused by everyday stressors and difficulty to establish a work-life balance? Work, social life, family, numerous errands to do make can cause stress and make us feel overwhelmed. A hectic lifestyle is a common occurrence today, but it has serious consequences on our emotional (and physical) well-being.
It is not uncommon for people to believe they can’t keep up with everything. You feel frustrated, lose your confidence and self-esteem, and see no way out. At the same time productivity at work suffers significantly. Is it possible to break this vicious circle and feel better about yourself? How to move forward? You’ll find answers below.
1. Focus on one thing at a Time
Multitasking, it is usually referred to as the best way to get things done. How many times have you started multitasking only to end up feeling stressed out? Instead of helping you finish everything fast and avoid stress, you usually experience panic attacks. When you realize this isn’t working, it’s understandable why your confidence and productivity suffer. Needless to mention your ego takes a major blow as well.
Researchers at the University of Stanford discovered that multitasking is, in fact, less productive than focusing on one thing at a time. The same applies for people who are juggling between different streams of electronic information. Not only does multitasking kill the productivity, but it affects memory and the ability to switch from one job to another. The solution is easy here, in order to get things done and reduce stress, stop with multitasking and focus on doing one thing at a time. You’ll feel much better about yourself and life in general.
2. Identify the Trigger
As much as we would like to eliminate stress forever, that is not possible. What you can do is to minimize its effect. Due to so many stressors, we deal with on a daily basis, we develop a defensive position. When you’re struggling with poor productivity, low confidence, and overall stress your attitude changes significantly.
It is not enough to implement different methods to feel better. They will help you for a while, but the same problem will be back again. Why? That’s because you didn’t fix the root of this problem. In order to get back on the right track and start moving forward, it is necessary to identify or pinpoint triggers of stress or depression.
The most practical way to identify the trigger (or more of them) is to keep a log or journal. Whenever you feel stressed out, less confident, or like you’re about to have a panic attack, write it down. Write down time, date, and what exactly happened. If you do it regularly, you’ll be able to find the exact cause of these negative emotions.
3. Do what you love
It is way easier to deal with all sorts of stressors when you are doing something you truly love. Even if you do a stressful job, you can find a hobby that will help you enrich your world and de-stress. There is no “one size fits all” rule here, your hobby can be just about anything you love or find relaxing. It is a great way to recharge batteries, let go of your worries, and enrich your world.
If you are not sure what are you passionate about, there is no reason to despair. Experiment with different activities until you find the one that is fulfilling and meaningful. Doing what you love brings more joy to your life instantly.
4. Try the 4 A’s
Although stress is an automatic response from your nervous system, some stressors occur at predictable times e.g. meeting with your boss, commute to work, family gatherings, just to name a few. When you are dealing with predictable stressors you can do two things: change the situation or change your reaction. While deciding which option is better in a given situation, you should practice the 4 A’s:
- Avoid – avoid people who stress you out, learn to say no, and know your limits in personal and professional life
- Alter – if you can’t avoid a stressful situation, try altering or changing it. Instead of bottling up your feelings, try expressing them. At the same time, be willing to compromise
- Adapt – basically, if you cannot change the stressor, change yourself i.e. adapt to the situation in order to retain sense of control
- Accept – some stressors can’t be changed and dwelling over them has a major impact on our emotional wellbeing, productivity, mood etc. To deal with situations you can’t change, accept them as they are and move on.
5. Celebrate your achievements
Negative feelings that accumulate on a daily basis don’t allow us to acknowledge the good things. Yes, even when you feel everything is against you, there are still some good things that were left unfairly ignored. When you focus on the negative, that’s all you see, and that is why you feel the way you do. You can break that chain by generating positive thoughts and feelings. This isn’t something that you can do overnight, consistency is the key to success.
You can start by celebrating your achievements or taking a few moments to write down at least three positive things that happened to you during the day. Go one step further and write three positive things about yourself and how you tackled different situations. Read the list and you’ll feel better. When you make any type of progress at work or in personal life, make sure you acknowledge and celebrate it.
6. Surround yourself with positive people
Humans are social beings and we absorb the energy that other people radiate. For instance, if you’re surrounded by negative people, chances are high you will adopt that mindset as well. On the other hand, if you hang out with positive, happy people then you will be happy too, according to scientists.
When you spend quality time with people who are optimistic, regardless of how stressful their life is, then you’ll start acting that way too. What’s more, having great, positive friends is one of the biggest joys of life. So, start hanging out with optimistic and cheerful people today.
7. Visualize what you want
Are you nervous about the project you’re working on and it’s stressing you out? This is a major cause of stress for students and adults. Nervousness opens the path to stress which, in turn, disrupts the productivity. As a result, you start questioning your skills and knowledge so your self-esteem suffers. All these factors can culminate in depression.
Of course, your goal is to avoid all those unfortunate scenarios and a practical thing to do is to visualize what you want. The imagination can be your most powerful weapon. Visualizing your goals, or even your presentation helps you stay on the right track. You’re more comfortable with the entire idea, know all the steps you have to take, and it gives you the opportunity to prioritize the tasks. This raises your productivity and helps you feel better about yourself.
8. Count to 10
When you feel like you are bombarded from every angle, take a short break and slowly count to 10 while taking deep breaths. This method acts as an instant stress relief, but you can also use it to pause and dismiss negative thoughts and feelings. Just taking this short break can give you the distance you need for a new perspective. It helps you realize that the issue you’re dealing with has a solution or that you are perfectly capable of doing some demanding task.
9. Ask questions
We have become a society where people are too shy or scared to ask questions. Accept the fact that you don’t know everything, nobody does. Also, nobody expects you to know everything. Acknowledging this can help you feel less pressured or stressed out.
Feeling like not knowing something is a major mistake negatively affects your confidence and you question every move you make. It is perfectly okay to ask questions when you feel uncertain about something. This isn’t just reserved for the workplace, but other aspects of your life.
10. Accept your flaws
If you always need to be perfect and want everything you do to be perfect as well, you’ll always feel inadequate. Seeking perfectionism means you are never satisfied with yourself, job, family, anything. Instead, you’re unhappy and it is easy to generate negative feelings or feel like you’re under tremendous stress.
Nobody is perfect! Every person in this universe has his/her flaws and imperfections. We make mistakes and so do you. Accept your flaws and mistakes and use them to your advantage. For example, every mistake is a lecture that you can use to learn and avoid it later on. When you get rid of the need to be perfect, you will feel liberated and ready to take risks.
Everyday stressors, when left unresolved, take a toll on our productivity and emotional well-being. As a result, negative thoughts and feelings accumulate and drag us into a dark place. Here’s good news – you can feel better and all it takes is to follow these simple, yet effective tips and methods that help you reshape your mindset for healthier perspective. Good luck.
Diana is just an ordinary blogger who loves sharing thoughts on the web and guides people through their daily routine. She uses her unique writing gifts to provide writing assistance at college-paper.org.
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