May 22, 2024

Stress in daily life? Here are three tips for more calm

Even the smallest things can cause us a lot of stress in daily life.Image: Shutterstock

Upset, exhausted, stressed: It's not just high stress that makes us feel this way. What you can do against microstress

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Micro-stress: These are small moments of stress that we encounter every day, they often go unnoticed, but in general they rob us of our energy.

American authors Rob Cross, Karen Dillon, and Kevin Mart studied various micro-stressors and coping strategies in a study involving more than 10,000 participants.

In an article for Harvard Business Review, she describes how you can figure out where stress is coming from and what you can do to reduce it so that you have more energy to do the important things. Among other things, they recommend the following:

1. Make small changes

The best way to start is to make small adjustments to your daily life. Each week, choose the partial pressure factor you specifically want to address. If you have a feeling at work that you can't fully trust your team, you can change that by having a nice conversation with colleagues about what's going on with them during the week. This builds trust and makes you feel safe.

2. Relationship management

According to the researchers, stressful or negative interactions with family members or friends were the main stressor for most of the study participants. The key here is to understand that it is not the relationships themselves that need to be questioned, but the interactions you have within them.

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For example, one study participant transformed a regular meeting with her parents that she found stressful: Instead of spending two and a half hours at her parents' house every weekend, she scheduled a fixed lunch with her mother. This way she was able to meet her mother and there was no stress due to lack of planning.

3. Live a diverse, “multidimensional” life.

Whether it's volunteer work, a new hobby, or making new social connections – different activities can help you develop a sense of meaning in life and find a better way to deal with small stresses.

The study showed that the happiest people tested were more able to correctly categorize subtle stressors in their lives. This was said to be because they were part of two or three groups (such as clubs) outside of their careers and families, and were interested in things that were personally important to them, the authors reported.

This variety in life ensured that they were able to recognize and evaluate small things in their own right, making them more resilient in the face of small stresses. These people were also able to deal with things beyond their control with greater confidence.

Sources used:

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