5 Keys to Managing Stress and Letting Go of What We Can’t Control

Let’s continue our chat about stress management while pursuing our goals.

I got married 3 weeks ago…

The wedding was absolutely amazing and the honeymoon was wonderful! Since returning home, I’ve had to jump back into the swing of things while making adjustments along the way. My To-Do List has definitely gotten longer. Things like getting my name changed everywhere, 9 to 5 life with OT, prepping for taxes, meetings, events and just adjusting to sharing my space with my significant other… There’s a lot going on.

But today, I’m not here to talk about my wedding and how I’m adjusting to married life.. Actually, I’d like to talk to you about success and managing stress and anxiety.

What does success look like to you?

Right now, for me, success looks like: Not procrastinating, making progress everyday and just getting things done.

For those of us who are goal oriented, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and crushed under the pressure of having many things to do and time. We usually feel most accomplished when we are making progress and getting things done.

5 Keys to Reducing Overwhelm and Stress:

When it comes to reducing stress and overwhelm, it’s helpful that you are intentional about setting the tone for your day and moving at a pace throughout the day that works best for you.

I enjoy have a to-do list, but what causes me stress is having a time-frame to get that to-do list done. Everything about my 9 to 5 is timed. When we are doing something outside of the scheduled time allotted, we are held accountable for it. So, when I clock out for the day, I look forward to being able to set the pace for the rest of my day.

A great way to set the tone for your day is by waking up early. Now, I do not consider myself a morning person. But, what I tend to focus on are the benefits of waking up earlier than usual and that motivates me to kick off the covers and get my day started!

1) Waking up early enough to have time for things like praying, meditating, setting goals/priorities for the day, relax in silence – no TV, no phone, no stressors.

2) Anti-Stress Supplements.

The one I am currently using is the Fast-Acting Stress Relief Gummies by Nature Made. Within 30 minutes, I begin to feel more relaxed. When I am experiencing soreness, aches and tightness in my neck and back, the supplement does not give me relief from that, but my mind (racing thoughts) do relax a bit.

Okay, now let’s chat about the art of letting go!

3) Allow yourself to feel the anxiety and stress IN the moment. THEN release it.

Release your need to control the situation or the stressor. Let go of the need to rapidly feel better. Accept that “it is what it is.” Trust yourself to be patient and get through it. Trust God, to work it altogether for your good.

I can’t be the only one who has struggled with the concept of “letting go.” I’ve always heard people say that we should forgive and let go and my question has always been, how? I want to let go, but how do I do that? I have asked that question so many times and I feel like I am still learning what letting go really means, to this day. But, one thing I have learned about letting go is that it is a process. It doesn’t come immediate for every person, in every situation. However, what has helped me let go of some things or at least begin the process of doing so is by allowing myself to FEEL the negative emotions. That brings me to my next point.

4) Observing – Notice how you feel in those moments of frustration. Maybe you feel tense, back or neck pain, maybe you feel like crying. Notice your thoughts. Notice what thoughts would be better. Healthier.

Observation creates awareness. I was aware of how I felt in those moments and was then able to SHIFT.

Now, the shift does not mean that I immediately felt free of the frustration. And, it does not mean that I found a resolution to the problem. It just means that I was able to not let it affect my ability to progress through my day like it would have in the past.

Before, if something would frustrate me, that was it. My mood would change for the rest of the day. And, in all honesty.. That still happens. A lot. But personal growth and development is a process. Other people may not be patient with you. So, it’s essential that you are patient with yourself!

Observing, having that awareness and mentally walking myself through the process of accepting and releasing my ATTEMPT to control what I can’t control enabled me to feel the frustration and stress for a matter of minutes.

Now, I’m a moody person. Triggers alter my mood fairly easily and quickly. If I’m feeling frustrated, anxious, stressed or hurt.. I get really quiet. No smiles, no laughter, just silence and brewing. That is why letting go is a skill I’m working on.

I share that to say this: I myself am very much a work in progress. However, I love to share what has been working for me because I know I’m not the only one. These are practical, realistic tips that can help you IN those firey moments when you feel like you might crash and burn. Figuratively speaking of course.

Setting the tone for your day, utilizing supplements, allowing yourself to feel the emotions, training yourself to observe and release are keys to managing stress and anxiety when you’ve got a lot going on in your life.

Story-time..

Friday evening my mom told me depressing news. My grandfather passed away Friday evening. That same day, my husband was in pain and I probably got 2 hours of sleep throughout the night and morning at most. My emotions were all over the place. I was trying my best to be there for my husband – it’s hard seeing someone that you love in so much pain and not being able to do much about it. Everything we were trying to relieve the pain wasn’t working and it seemed like our prayers were just hitting brick walls before dissolving into thin air. On top of that, my heart was breaking. I’d just seen my grandfather at my wedding 2 weeks prior. And suddenly, he is gone. I was thinking about my dad, my grandma, my aunts, uncles, cousins and all those affected by this loss and heart was just crumbling. I just kept crying and praying. I felt like I was pouring form an empty cup.

I felt really overwhelmed. I’d been looking forward to having a productive and relaxing weekend and it turned out to be opposite of that. I was grieving and adding other things on top just made me feel so weak. Leading up to Friday, I’d already been feeling like I could use some time to recharge but I just wasn’t able to get that time. And, that is how life is. Life happens when we least expect it. Things won’t always go according to plan. That is why we must learn how to pivot and adjust.

5) Pivot and Adjust. That’s something I’ll have to continue to do in my marriage, on my job, in my business.. in every area of my life! Due to the stress and pain in my arms and back, I haven’t been able to work out like I used to. But, this month I decided to get back in the gym and do what I can. I can’t use weights just yet, but I can work on my lower body and do cardio. I’m doing what I CAN do. And, that is what leads to progress and success.

One of the best abilities to have, to be successful in any area of your life, is the ability to PIVOT. If you can’t pivot and adjust when things don’t go according to Plan A, then you’re likely to give up.

One of my top goals in life is to HELP someone else pursue and achieve their goals. One way of doing that is by not only being transparent about my personal growth and development journey, but by also sharing tips and strategies that will make it LESS likely that you will quit.

You matter. Your goals and dreams matter. Don’t let stress, anxiety and overwhelm hold you back. Utilize these tips to help you get a better handle on them. And, as always, if therapy and medication is needed, do it. All of this just goes to say.. Prioritize your mental health.

There’s a lot of topics to talk about when it comes to success and achieving our goals. Mental health is one of them. Let’s talk about it more.

Thank you for reading Set Goals & Slay Family! Please share this post. You never know who is struggling with stress and anxiety and can use a word of hope and encouragement.

Published by KeziaMarie

Kezia is a published Author, Inspirational Spoken Word Poet and creator of Set Goals & Slay Caoching LLC. Kezia, a Phoenix native, graduated from Grand Canyon University in 2015 with her BS in Psychology. Post graduation, she has worked in the Behavior Health field with adults who have been diagnosed with Serious Mental Illness, as well as at-risk girls in a therapeutic group home setting. Kezia's goal is to motivate, encourage and inspire people to embrace who they are without shame, pursue their dreams and to live their lives operating in their God given purpose. She desires to see people happy, successful and thriving!

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