Stress is a killer, it is a known fact that stress is one of the reasons for heart attacks and many other lethal stress related disease. The bad thing about stress is that it will not only ultimately kill you, it is killing you while its doing it.
Stress makes a person narrow his perspective, feel lost, lose proportion and the sense of the real things in life, some people get into a chain reaction in which stress is just the cause of more stress, eventually leading these people to seek mental health help.
I am assuming that you are a normal (what is normal, right?) person, that does not currently have or had any kind of mental disease, that you are reading this article for one simple reason, you start to feel that stress is overcoming you, that something has changed as a result of increased stress, and you want out. You want your life back, you sense of control and to shake this feeling of urgency around each and every issue in you life.
How can I understand what you are going through? Went through? The answer is simple, I went through a severe mental breakdown as a result of continues stress. It took months for me to go down, and months for me to get back up, but once I got up (about 15 years ago) I have been studying and learning everything I can about stress, including talking to people like you. Identifying stress is the first step to fighting it, and reducing it.
When I first realized that my life seemed to have no breaks, no pause and that daily activities simply followed each other as if magically linked one to the other, driving to work connected to work, driving back home connected with the tasks I had at home (that connected with the tasks for work I left for home). There was no real joy, no fun and most importantly no life.
No one needs to be an expert on mental health to know that he is experiencing stress, when it hits its very clear. The biggest problem is that we humans get used to it, and we learn to live with it, baring it on our heads, our shoulders, our hearts. While stress gets rooted into our bodies we become bitter, angry, impatient and generally not pleasant to be with or around. Not a big surprise ha?, of course, you can probably remember a time you knew someone that was so stress it made you feel stress, you also probably avoided seeing this person
Assuming stress just showed up at your door a few weeks or months ago, what can you do to try and do battle with it? Is it at all possible to beat stress, and to return to a normal life, with normal stress levels that go up and down normally (in contrast to continuously).
YOU CAN. Thats the first thing I got to say. Almost anyone can, and there is no reason you cant. What am I talking about? Beating stress. Getting your life back, enjoying and living, every single moment of every single day.
Here are a few things that helped me a lot, I know some of them sound old fashioned or simply old, but they worked for me, and they might just work for you.
Take a hobby, start something you always wanted, it can be working in the garden (amazing) or learning how to ski dive (even more amazing), working out is good, running or swimming, in fact almost any kind of regular physical activity is good. I highly recommend golf, its ability to drive your attention from everything else and make you focus on a small white ball for a few hours, with spending a (relatively) long time out doors, is great. If you carry your golf bag and walk the course (walk not slowly wander around) you will also get into shape.
Physical exercise once a day, for 20 to 45 min, do something, in the house out of the house, doesnt matter, just do something. Yoga is great, because almost everyone can practice it, and eventually you will perform the positions in synchronization with your breathing, which is almost the best way to relax and regulate your breath.
Relax take a break. Do I need to explain? Just take a break, if its a short break you can use it to relax, close your eyes and imagine a nice place you can spend a few imaginary moments at, if you are not good at imagining things, try and meditate for a few minutes, clear your mind of thought and try to get your subconscious to shut up.
Deal with problems and break them into smaller pieces just like cleaning a big room, break your problems into smaller problems and decide which ones you do not want to deal with right now and which are the ones you are going to solve, do not leave the other problems for an unknown date to be solved commit yourself to a time and day you will address these other issues.
I wish you all the best, and good luck in beating stress and starting gaining control over your life. When you get into these stressful moods again, try and think of how an nervous, stressed person looks like, and what is his chances of solving his problems, take a long breath, and plan your victory.