Sisterhood Agenda

Stress Management Through Optimism

Carline
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Stress management is something all of us should learn because stress is a naturally occurring phenomenon.  Believe it or not, stress is often a necessary part of life.  Most of us will experience stress and, sometimes, it can be overwhelming.

Too much stress and not knowing how to handle it can take a toll in all areas of your life, including physical and mental health, relationships, mood, and self-esteem.

What are the main causes of stress?

1. Financial concerns

Lenders calling you and emailing you reminding you about your bills that are due can be stressful.

On top of it all, most people worry about their credit.  In addition to regular monthly expenses, credit concerns are especially worrisome if you don’t have a stable income.

Financial problems are the number one cause of stress in America according to one survey.

Stress about money leads to worrying and feeling anxious all the time, for example, being anxious about answering the phone.  You may also feel guilty to go out or spend money for yourself or for your essentials.

2. Work-related issues

Photo Credit: Cristina Morillo, Pexels

Humans are competitive by nature and the workplace is often where we showcase our talents and compete with ourselves and/or others. So when we are dissatisfied with our jobs, it bothers us to the core.

According to a Survey by Northwestern National Life, 40% of workers report their jobs to be extremely stressful and 26% say they feel burned out by their work.

This is more likely to happen if you put your job above everything else. As a result, other areas of your life will be affected.

Moreover, there can be a variety of employment factors that contribute to work stress, such as poor work performance, job insecurity, too much work, personal or professional conflicts with colleagues.

We’ve also written an article about burn out that you can access here.

3. Toxic relationships and problems in the household

Toxic relationships cause a lot of stress, such as a friend or a partner who always picks a fight with you and doesn’t support you or makes you feel like you’re not good enough.

Physical, mental or emotional abuse from a significant other is toxic.

Additionally, stress from relationships may also include the ones you encounter on social media. Cyberbullying, even comparing yourself to the success of other people that you see on social media can be harmful.

4. Being a parent

Being a parent can be stressful from the moment a woman gives birth, even when the child becomes an adult.

As children grow up, parental stress usually decreases.  However, it will depend on the personality and behavior of the child, as well as your relationship with the child.

One fact remains:  you have to care for a newborn infant 24/7 and you have to chase a toddler when they start running.

The extreme levels of stress brought on by parenting and sleep deprivation can contribute to your mood and attitude that’s why sometimes as a parent we can be harsh to our kids unintentionally.

In addition, being a parent to a child with special needs is far more stressful.

A recent study found that mothers of adolescents and adults with autism had levels of stress hormones comparable to soldiers in combat.

They fear and worry about the child’s future and their suffering and sometimes have guilt feelings and blame themselves for their child’s disability.

5. The daily grind

We have daily stressors and that includes the daily commute or traffic, losing your keys, waking up late for work, or whatever might happen to you on any given day.

If you think about each incident, it’s pretty minor.  But in the long run, if it happens often and you experience multiple incidents per day, this can greatly affect your entire day.

The daily grind is like being in the rat race:  you wake up you go to work, you come home, go to bed, and do it all over again the next day, every day.

Don’t hate your life.  With the right mindset, practice, attitude, and having a purpose, it won’t be such a pain.

These minor and major stressors can be more insignificant through positive affirmations.

Photo Credit: Giphy

 

Why use positive affirmations to relieve stress?

When you think positively you will experience less stress.

According to research at Harvard University, a positive outlook in life is linked to lower levels of stress.  Sisterhood Agenda incorporates positive affirmations in all of its programs, especially its programs and curricula for girls.

Believing in yourself and your talents drives you to expect good things to happen.  You will see minor setbacks as minor challenges instead of major obstacles.  Thus, you won’t crumble when you encounter a negative event.

Also, you will begin to see positive events as proof that more good things are coming.

Research shows that there is a correlation between optimism and coping strategies.  This means that optimists cope better when faced with a stressful situation.  And social support, like Sister Circles, make things better:

“A significant positive relation emerges between optimism and coping strategies focused on social support and emphasis on positive aspects of stressful situations.”

The first step to becoming an optimist is to use positive affirmations.

How to use positive affirmations for stress relief

How do you start?

First, you have to figure out your intentions. What is it that you’re trying to create in your life?

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What do you want to achieve? Do you want to think more positively? Do you want to have more patience? More peace? Would you like to be calmer? Or do you want good things to happen to you?

  •  Start writing your affirmations and write them as if they’re already true.

For example, “I am feeling calmer each day.” “I can handle anything that happens today.” “Today is an awesome day.”

You are doing this to program your subconscious mind to manifest your positive thoughts into reality.

  • Stick to the positive, use “want” and avoid using “I don’t want.” You are trying to eliminate your negative thought patterns and change them into positive ones.
If you feel stuck in this part, you can get inspiration from others; there are plenty of affirmations online that you can apply to yourself as well.

Inject positive affirmations in your life through:

  • Journals
  • Post-its
  • Following daily affirmation quotes
  • Installing apps that can provide daily different affirmations
  • Undergoing self-hypnosis

This is a way to really ingrain positive affirmations into your subconscious so that it becomes your normal conscious state.

You’re programming your thoughts like a computer so that this is what you think of first.

Notes: Positive affirmations only work when you believe in them.  If you don’t believe, your mind will find a way to fight against them. Here’s the greatest tip:   just have fun and don’t entertain negative thoughts.  You will see the effects after.

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