4 tips for managing stress

It’s all too easy for small things to get under our skin and to let ourselves get overly worried in our day-to-day lives. As we try to juggle multiple things at once, we can often be left feeling a little overwhelmed. However, the good news is there are simple steps we can take to try ease the pressure and stresses in our lives.

The expression ‘Don’t sweat the small stuff’ comes from the title of a best-selling ‘self-help’ book by US psychologist, Richard Carlson. In the book, Carlson urged readers to make changes to their everyday life, such as:

    • do one thing at a time
    • live in the present
    • let others have the glory at times
    • live each day as if it might be your last.

Carlson’s message is fundamentally important. Stress is damaging for us both mentally and physically, regardless of whether the trigger is trivial or important. Stress can add to the pain of osteoarthritis as it increases muscle tension so eliminating stress can have an added bonus for people with osteoarthritis.

Here are 4 tips to better manage your stress (the 4 A’s):

    1. Avoid – situations or people that you know may cause you stress. Don’t take on too much and learn to say ‘no’.
    2. Alter – situations by communicating clearly about what is bothering you. Be prepared to make changes yourself, too.
    3. Accept – when you have to. Don’t waste energy on being angry but learn to forgive.
    4. Adapt – to your circumstances. Ask yourself ‘Will this matter in a year?’ If the answer is ‘no’, you may see the situation differently.

‘Don’t sweat the small stuff’ may not sound particularly profound, but it can make a big difference to the way we live our lives.