How To Effectively Manage Stress

How to effectively manage stress

While stress is an inevitable part of our lives, I was always a person who was figuring out life as it came. I hardly ever worried about anything, because deep down I knew that no amount of stress or worrying would change the outcome. When we stress about something that we have no control over, we’re essentially worrying about something that may or may not happen. I knew how important it was to keep a positive mentality no matter what I was going through, because whatever was going to happen, was going to happen regardless. 

But as I got older and went through different life transitions, I found myself starting to get lost in immense stress. My emotions combined with my sensitivity and stress levels essentially took over, and I was overthinking even the smallest of things. I was trying to keep up in every area of my life from managing multiple jobs, balancing relationships, and exercising, all while trying to pursue my passion for writing in the little free time I gave myself. 

Our time and energy get stretched thin when we’re trying to be the best and present in every area of our lives. It was through these times that when I finally realized how stressed I was, I knew how important it was to learn how to manage one thing at a time, so that too much wasn’t piling on my plate at once. 

It was no surprise to me that after some research, up to 55 percent of Americans experience stress daily. I would even argue that the statistic could be higher. So what’s the secret to managing stress? We all walk around with it at one point or another, but what’s crucial for our mental and physical health is learning how to manage it in our day-to-day lives. We can’t control what happens to us, but we can control how we choose to act. Learn how to effectively manage stress in your own life with the following tips:

Shift Your Thoughts

When we’re stressed out, it’s easy to fixate on the things we’re stressed about and only focus on that. Whenever I’m giving more attention to the things that I’m worried or stressed about, the problems only seem to get bigger and bigger. It’s hard to shift my attention elsewhere because I’m too focused on it, feeding into negative thoughts and feelings. 

Our thoughts have the power and ability to shape our lives. If we’re constantly stressed out about something we have no control over, then it’s only going to magnify our problem. By shifting your thoughts and tuning into your feelings, you’ll be able to redirect your focus on what’s going right in your situation, rather than what might be going wrong.

Determine how you can minimize your thoughts, and if there’s anything you can do to change it. Even if it’s as simple as changing your mindset about what’s going on in your life. If it’s not in your control, ask yourself how you can shift your thoughts to hold onto that positive mindset, to help push you through and start eliminating some of the stress you’re experiencing.

Our thoughts have the power and ability to shape our lives.

Make A Plan

As I previously mentioned, I was always a person who would never worry about anything. Never worrying about anything also meant I was never a planner, until somewhat recently. 

I was naive to think that after I launched my website, my life would consist of mainly writing and that was it. A few months into launching it, I realized there was so much more that went into it. I started to quickly feel overwhelmed and overloaded with daily tasks. Before I knew it, stress took over because I was focusing on too much at one time. I was jumping from one task to the next, with no set plan. 

The best thing I did to help manage my stress during this time was to form a plan and stick to it. I batch-planned content for weeks, deciding which days I was going to write, and outlining each topic as I had the time. I prioritized what was most important and set goals on how I could achieve it. This made my daily tasks so much easier because I already knew what my focus was going to be for the day.

Figure out the ins and outs of your specific situation, and what you can do for yourself that will help lessen the feelings of stress. Stress is often so subtle, that it’s often too late before we realize how fast one thing piles up on top of another. 

Prioritize your tasks by importance, in order from what needs to be done, to what can wait. Being mindful of your time and making a plan makes all the difference in learning how to manage stress.

Stop Overcommitting

We probably need to read that again: stop overcommitting. There’s so much power in the word “no”, when we choose not to agree to something that won’t benefit or help us. I’ll be the first to admit that I was a people-pleaser for the majority of my life. While it’s something I’m still actively working on to this day, I’ve learned the importance of saying no and setting boundaries when it matters most.

When you’re doing something out of obligation, your time and energy becomes nonexistent. Ask yourself if you’re doing something only because you feel obligated, or if you’re doing it for the right reasons. We always want to do the right thing, but sometimes when we get caught up in the daily stresses of our lives, it’s easy to fall into the trap of trying to please everyone else while forgetting about ourselves. 

Trying to make everyone else happy, rather than putting yourself first, will only make you unhappy in the end. When you stop overcommitting, your stress will start to lift because you’re choosing to prioritize your health and happiness first. 

Manage Your Emotions

Just as it’s important to shift your mindset, it’s also important to learn how to manage your emotions. While I mentioned I was a people-pleaser, I’ve learned that it’s important for me to learn how to process and work through my sensitive emotions as well.

I used to let things get to me that I should’ve let go or not held onto in the beginning, which would only add to my stress. Never let the little things completely control your feelings or affect your entire day. I often tell myself, “A moment is only a moment”. And that’s all it ever has to be. We all face stressful situations in our lives, but we can either feed into that stress or figure out how we can be our best. 

Naturally, we might initially be upset or taken back when something goes wrong or unexpected in our lives, but it’s up to us to learn how to effectively manage those emotions even when we’re led down a completely different path than we envisioned. 

Declutter Areas Of Your Life

Sometimes stress isn’t so much about what did or didn’t happen to us, but it’s about our own choices. There was a period where months went by that I completely avoided cleaning out my closet. I planned on organizing it and purging some old clothes. But, every time I even thought about it, I started completely dreading the task. Which resulted in putting it off and off, until eventually one day I couldn’t stand it anymore. After I finished, I realized that it didn’t take me as long as I initially thought it would. I also felt way better that I accomplished something that I’ve been meaning to do for a long time.

Whether it’s decluttering the physical spaces of your home, or even mental areas such as shifting your thoughts to a positive mindset, it’s important to take the time to figure it out what will help decrease the stress in your life. Your daily habits affect how you live your life, but it’s up to you to learn how to manage and declutter accordingly. Sometimes the smallest habits end up eventually becoming the biggest habits, and it’s all because of the commitment to make a change.

Just because stress is common, doesn’t mean we have to accept living with it. Too often, we search for answers to questions that we think are so complex and complicated. But if we dig inside, we usually find the answers to our questions are already within ourselves. Identify what’s causing your stress so you can start learning how to manage it to live a happy and fulfilled life. Stress will come and go, but it never has to control your life. 

Leave a Comment


  1. 4.12.24

    I have stopped overcommitting lately, and it helps so much. Great tips!

  2. 4.12.24
    Angelia said:

    Great post! I love that you included overcommitting. That helped me quite a bit. I would hate to say no, and then I would find myself stressed out and overcommitted. When I started to say no, I would feel bad, but I knew having free time to myself was better. Thank you for sharing!

    • 4.15.24

      Yes, it’s such a back & forth cycle! I’m so much less stressed when I do the things for myself that are important without overcommitting. Thanks for reading!

  3. 4.12.24

    Thank you for this, I needed this.

  4. 4.16.24

    Such great information. Overcommitting is my problem – I’ve just joined my son’s school PTA and know I’ll regret it!!

    • 4.16.24

      It’s so easy to get caught up in commitments, especially when we initially think we’re doing the right thing (or even say yes out of obligation!). Hopefully it won’t be as overwhelming as it might seem, and you can find enjoyment in it!