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Highly Effective Habits of People Who Never Get Stressed

09 February 2022

Have you ever looked over at a colleague buried in paperwork and wondered how they manage to keep their cool? Or watched a parent in the supermarket who remains Zen while their children are screaming and running around the aisles?

We all struggle with stress, but some people seem to manage to handle their problems and emotions effortlessly. Well, that's not entirely true, whether it is a learned habit or an instinct, those who remain calm under pressure have developed essential skills for stress relief.

The good news is that you can learn these habits too! Stress management is a skill that must be developed and practised before it becomes second nature.

So, if you feel yourself heading for a meltdown, try a few of these effective habits of people who never get stressed. 

Set Your Expectations

People who ‘go with the flow’ still make plans, the trick is they do not over-plan. Having a plan is great, it makes you more productive and proactive and you know exactly where you are and what your next step is, but planning in too much detail can have unexpected consequences.

The problem with over-planning is the tendency to set your expectations in stone, only to watch helplessly as your expectations crumble when things don't go the way you expected.

In every area of life, it is important to expect the unexpected, and that is exactly what stress-free people do.

They make a plan and set a destination, but exactly how they get there is always flexible. This way, if you have to change the course you won't beat yourself up about it, or berate yourself for failing to meet an objective.

To the stressless - failure is not the end, merely a change of direction.

This Too Shall Pass

This is the mantra of the cool and collected. Acknowledging that nothing is permanent, and life is all about change, is key to managing your emotions.

Here is a simple and easy mental exercise you can do. Whenever you encounter a stress trigger, ask yourself these essential questions:

  • Will I remember this tomorrow?
  • in a week?
  • in a month?
  • in a year?

Then set your emotional response accordingly.

Think back to times when you tied yourself up in knots about an issue, do you remember what it was about? Does the outcome of that scenario affect you now? At this very moment?

It is amazing how our emotions trick us into thinking that something is so important right now, only to be completely forgotten about shortly after. Asking yourself a few simple questions can help you derail incoming stress and give you better mental clarity to solve the problem, instead of becoming anxious over it.

Increase Your Exercise

Exercise is a classic stress reliever. Numerous studies have demonstrated the physical and emotional benefits of regular activity.

Our bodies hold on to stress as much as our brains do. When we become stressed, our muscles become tense in anticipation of pain or injury. The physical tension of stress lingers far after mental stress has gone. The best way to get rid of muscular stress is to get those muscles moving.

Other physical indicators of stress include:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Stomach pain
  • High blood pressure
  • Low libido
  • Rapid breathing
  • Weakened immune system
  • Insomnia
  • High blood sugar

Exercise helps rid the body of adrenaline and cortisol -  troublesome offenders which are over-produced in highly stressed bodies.

Those who exercise keep stress hormones low and prevent a build-up. 30 minutes of exercise daily can help significantly reduce all the physical and emotional symptoms of stress.

Focus

Focus can often be confused as the source of stress - that those who work too long and concentrate too hard are vulnerable to increased stress levels.

While this is somewhat true, the majority of us get more stressed out by distractions than by projects that require focus.

True focus, otherwise known as ‘flow’ is a period of immersion where you are completely honed in on the task at hand, and all other distractions are ‘zoned’ out.

Common distractions that slow down your flow include:

  • Smartphones
  • Background noise
  • Co-workers
  • Multi-tasking
  • The Internet
  • Clutter

Studies have shown that distractions not only slow up your workday, but they also continue slow mental progress for up to 30 minutes afterwards, leading to decreased productivity and the feeling of being ‘rushed’ as your struggle to meet deadlines.

Those who focus, truly focus, on their work, often get work done at a better pace, are more thorough in their work, and get their work done ahead of schedule. Meeting deadlines with time to spare is a huge stress reliever that also results in better quality work.

Take Care Of Yourself

If you can’t take care of yourself, then how do you expect to take care of anyone else?

Super-stressed people tend to be natural givers. They care a lot. They want to do their best for everyone and they will sacrifice their own needs in the process.

However, burnt out and frazzled people are less productive and less helpful than those who give themselves time off to refresh. People who manage to get everything done without breaking a sweat are able to do so because they take time out to care for themselves regularly.

Those who are good at managing stress take care of themselves by

  • Eating healthy balanced diets
  • Doing one thing every day that they enjoy
  • Pampering themselves once and while
  • Spending time around loved ones
  • Practising yoga, meditation and other mental relaxation exercises

Managing stress does not have to be complicated, or a chore. You can fit these daily habits into your existing routine and if something isn’t working for you then switch it out for something else.

However, by keeping up your new habits and practising these techniques over time, you will notice a significant reduction in your stress levels, and experience mental clarity like never before.

Setting your expectations, remaining flexible and staying focused when it matters most will help you to overcome self-defeating thoughts and keep lingering stress low.

Remaining cool and collected during periods of intensity is not a superpower, everyone has the innate ability to manage their emotions and stay calm during the storm.