If you can do nothing in time, if you are not satisfied with yourself and your life looks like a race – it is time to stop and understand what went wrong and how to fix that.
One hundred years ago, people read only 50 books during their lives. Nowadays, we all meet informational overdose. If in 2007, a person consumed 100 500 words per day, then today this number has grown to 178 570 words per day.
Industrialization and automating had to reduce the load and to free one’s time. But things went the opposite way: people become hostages of technologies, cares, notifications and social media networks. We think about rest when we work, and think about work when we rest.
People are often unsatisfied by themselves. It seems that their life passes by while a hypothetical Mary from social media lives her happy and full life.
Stress grows. People gain excess weight or compensate their worries by other harmful habits.
Let’s take a look onto seven stress factors of modern human and ways to deal with it.
Factor 1. Notifications and Distracting Calls
When you work productively, you are in a certain flow of information. If you dive deep into that “flow” feeling, other things fall back and the satisfaction you get from a process is so great that you are ready to pay money in order to continue doing what you do.
Each distracting call or annoying colleague kicks you out of that “flow” state. As soon as you become tuned up for work, distraction happens. And as a result, you just can’t get back into a flow, or spend time and energy on diving into it again. They say, it takes 15 minutes to concentrate once more. Irritation and anger grow in your mind as well.
Solution: set up a diet for notifications.
Turn off all or almost all smartphone notifications. Leave only those which are really important. For instance, SMS from your bank and calls.
Turn on the “No sound” mode for your phone. Sometimes you can even warn your relatives, turn off the vibration, and put your phone with its screen down onto the table.
Nothing weird is going to happen if you answer the call 30 minutes later or visit social network to look who liked your photo while having a break and without notifications.
Factor 2. Switching Between Tasks
You have a certain quality of “mindfuel” every day: this resource helps you make decisions and think. This resource is limited. There is a difference between completing a task within 15 minutes while your head is fresh, and trying to understand what to do while being tired.
When “mindfulel” burns out, the “lagging” period comes: you feel it difficult to work even on elementary tasks. Or maybe, you can do routine actions and not to have energy for decision-making and creative activities.
Where does “mindfuel” go? One of its thieves is wrong switching between tasks. It is when you haven’t finished the ongoing task yet and you start doing a new one. As soon as you start doing a new task, one more task appears, and then one more again. Don’t you find it difficult to stay calm in that situation? You just can’t keep up to your plan, because of your performance decrease due to panic and lack of time.
Solution: “Pomodoro” technique.
This method is called so because its creator used a kitchen timer that looked like a tomato (“pomodoro” in Italian).
How does Pomodoro work? You create a to-do list in advance, writing down there tasks you need to complete. You do that in order to know the order and not to keep it all in your mind.
Then put a timer for 25 minutes of a concentrated work (without distracting on social media, people, calls). You can say them directly: “Later, I’ve got “pomodoro””.
After each “pomodoro”, there come 5 minutes of rest. Even if you feel the wish to work one more minute, stop and change your environment (charge up, make a cup of tea etc). After four “pomodoros”, have a rest for half an hour.
People who started using this technique found out, that in 5-6 “pomodoros” they could do all the job which could take them a day previously. In this way, time structure appears: there is a period for rest, and a time for a concentrated load. As a result, it is possible to do more during the same period of time, and you don’t waste lots of time to get back into your task.
Factor 3. Care Sector is Larger than Influence Sector
There are definitions in popular psychology: “care sector” and “influence sector”.
Care sector means thing that a person cannot control and cannot influence on (exchange course, political situation, news about cataclysms and wars).
Influence sector includes everything you can influence on (job, self-development, house furniture, etc).
Solution: expand influence sector, lower care sector.
Why do you need to care about things you can’t influence on? Do not interest in politics and currency courses too much. Important news can be brought to you by people around.
Focus on your influence sector. Expand it through gradually solving more and more difficult tasks. First, you set up an order at home, then on the stairway, and then you come to the whole house, neighborhood and so on. As a result, you have less worries and more confidence in your powers.
Factor 4. The Fear of Not Being Good Enough or Missing Something
A social media newsletter creates a picture of a perfect life of other people. You thing: “Man, everyone is so cool and successful, unlike me…” Then thoughts about your life not being full appear. The point is, many people try to seem, not to be.
Solution: healthy skepticism
The best way is live communication and asking questions how things actually go. Many people who show their perfect vacation in social media can tell about difficulties and problems only when being in private.
This is how you can destroy your own delusions about other people, compare yourself with others less and move towards your direction.
Factor 5. Rush
You try to be in time everywhere: friendly meeting, office, home. You hurry to live; you need everything faster and faster. As a result, you get an internal tension and a bunch of unsolved problems behind your back. You can’t get out of that circle and enjoy living here and now.
Ten days of silence and total disconnection from outer world. This is how people describe their vipassana trips. It can be difficult for the first time, you start thinking about your deeply hidden past after some time. Then you let go unconscious anxieties that periodically appeared in your everyday life. There you have time to think over it all and to calm down your mind.
What does that meditation looks like? You rest for the whole day and you meditate in a group with a teacher who says how to do that. You keep silent all the time, and get a minimum of information. The first half of that meditation is a breathing anapana. And the second one is vipassana itself. You understand that the world is changing itself during every single moment.
You can meditate in the city while being in a regular life situations as well (in a transport of at home, for instance. You let your thoughts go and relax. With the help of meditation, the quality of your sleep becomes better, you look at your past in different point of view, you treat unsolved problems and worries differently.
Factor 6. Not Enough Time for Being Alone
You are surrounded with other people constantly: at the office, at home, in public transport. When did you stay alone with your thoughts for the last time, could you remember? It is important to disconnect from the outer world and to devote some time to discover yourself. You spend energy to communicate with others, and being alone is the way to recharge your mental batteries. When you listen to yourself, you understand your possibilities and wishes better.
Solution: cyclic sports, martial arts
You can re-think something and stay alone while being on the run. You leave problems behind and just run.
It is recommended to choose that kind of activity, where you exercise individually or distract for other people less: running, swimming, cycling, etc. Martial arts do well here. Once you enter the gym, you leave all worries behind the threshold and practice.
Factor 7. Forgotten unsolved problems
The most typical ones are health troubles. For instance, there is a pain in your back and you suffer for weeks. Though you could solve the trouble at once: to visit a masseur or to change your mattress.
Same goes for mental problems. It is not too popular to visit psychoanalysts and to tell about that aloud. People think out many excuses: it is expensive, it won’t help, it will go on its own, etc. Lots of us come to relatives and friends for a piece of advice. But in fact, these tips don’t cause a long and quality effect.
Solution: diagnosing and dealing with troubles in time
Once you get troubles, go and visit a specialist. A good doctor will give you tips on improving your physical health. And a good psychoanalyst will help you to see the problem, to change your attitude and to deal with it finally.
You better spend time to solve your trouble now, then to stay in a constant stress for much more time later.
How to Reduce Stress in Your Life: Check-List
- Turn off notifications or reducing their quantity on a computer and smartphone.
- Work being concentrated: use Pomodoro method.
- Think less about things you can’t change, work on your influence sector.
- Destroy your own illusions about other people’s ideal lives.
- Devote time to stay alone.
- Solve health troubles with the help of specialists, do not delay them till “later”.