Many of us can relate to the idea of not having enough hours in the day. Our task lists and inboxes continue to grow, and many of us are used to feeling as though we’ve been spread too thinly to meet the needs of the day. At Advanced Health, many of our patients keenly feel the impacts of stress from their personal and professional lives and hope that as part of their treatment, they can learn a more optimistic way to manage stress.
Optimism and Mindset
A recent study by Frost Bank found that optimistic individuals, in a survey of 2000 US adults, experienced up to seven times higher levels of financial well-being. Regardless of their actual incomes, they experienced 145 fewer days of financial stress each year, compared to more individuals with more pessimistic outlooks, and that the optimists were considerably more likely to make positive choices with their finances.
That same study found that optimists tended to meet a greater percentage of their personal and professional goals, or to change their career paths to follow their passions.
It’s plain to see that an optimistic mindset confers tangible benefits, but how is one able to develop an optimistic way to manage stress, in practice?
The Optimistic Way to Manage Stress in 3 Steps
- Start Today, Even with Something Small
Don’t wait for the perfect plan, or the perfect time. Start by choosing a simple goal that will help eliminate some of your stress. Don’t hold yourself back and stop yourself from being driven, or become overwhelmed with worrying how things are going to turn around. Just keep taking one step forward, being patient and having faith.
A leap of courage may just start with making a little bit more time in the morning to drink your cup of warm water and breath slowly. You may then invest in preparing a fresh warm meal for the day and taking your time to eat it at home without being distract. Shifting away from feeling rushed and overwhelmed will you shift away from frequent bursts of fight-or-flight and instead being more mindful. Clarity of thoughts leads to empowerment, increased self-confidence and creativity. You will start to begin investing in how to work smart versus working hard.
- Focus on the Positive
We all have a great many things to be grateful for. It’s easy to lose sight of all that, when stressors are looming large in your mind, and sometimes we need a little help or guidance to remember to look at the positive parts of our lives. Take some time each day to give your attention to something you are grateful for. Maybe keep a list, and add something new when you start your day. Focus on the things you value.
Remember that we only have control over our thoughts so don’t worry about the problems in your life you cannot change. While stressors come and go, remember that life is full of a great things we can be grateful for.
- Learn from Mistakes, and Turn Setbacks into Opportunities
We all make mistakes from time to time, and things don’t always go our way. Unexpected setbacks or delays can very easily compound stress. We’ve all worried about a deadline or a tough workload, and had the power go out, or found ourselves caught in traffic. The car won’t start the morning of the big meeting. It happens.
But whether those setbacks are debilitating or not depends entirely on your own mindset. That traffic jam is a great opportunity to catch up on your new audiobook, or to dictate ideas for a new paper you’ve wanted to write. Your broken phone is frustrating, but your contract is almost up anyway and since the last update your phone had been running slow anyway.
Mistakes are the same way. If you’ve tried one approach, and it didn’t work, you have the opportunity to revise your habits or your workflow or to evaluate your process, and to learn a way to do things better going forward. Optimistic people are often grateful for their mistakes, since they can teach us so much.
An optimistic way to manage stress is something we can all benefit from. Are you considering incorporating mindfulness practices, or optimistic outlooks into your own lifestyle, or have you been feeling the impact of stress on your overall health? CONTACT US TODAY! Advanced Health is here to help. Let’s work together to get you on the path to lifelong wellness.
Frost & FleishmanHillard. Mind over Money: How Optimism Connects Us to Financial Health. Retrieved August 2019 from https://www.optforoptimism.com/optimism/optimismresearch.pdf