It feels like from the moment I wake up until I my head hits the pillow at night I am stressing about something.

As women we stress a lot faster than men.

I think its in our DNA. We are not only multi-taskers but we are also multi-fixers and we like to take care of everything at once. Because if we don’t do it right now we might run our of time.

We have been programmed to chase time.

We are forced to think about not only whats happening in our lives at the moment but also constantly wonder about the future. Quick…do well in school, make a career, find a partner, have a baby.

We are the glue of the social fabric.

We need to not only create relationships but continually work on maintaining them. And that can be stressful when added on top of everything else.

We also have to constantly think about how we look.

Am I pretty enough? Skinny enough? Fit enough? Is my skin clear and my hair shiny? I mean, if you think about it, it just gets outright ridiculous that we have to worry about so much. Otherwise, we don’t win in this chase.

How can we achieve anything if we stress so much?

First thing to remember is its okay.

Its not a bad thing to always want more, to chase after our dreams and be competitive.

Don’t let anyone to make you feel guilty that you want to look great and strive to be the best. Competition is not a bad thing.

Its not wrong or even impossible to be the best version of yourself. As long as you reward yourself, its ok to strive for perfection.

Don’t expect positive reinforcements from others, make sure to reward yourself.

While is good to always want to be better, it equally important to know that you should reward yourself for your achievements and not expect it from others.

For me that has been a biggest hurdle to jump over in my life. As a perfectionist, I have always worked extra hard in any project that I took on. Let it be studying for a test, presentation at work or cooking for my family, I would go above and beyond to complete the task and in return I expected positive feedback. When I didn’t receive the expected response, I’d be discouraged and my confidence would be hurt.

When I realized my behavior, I decided to take a different approach and instead expecting positive feedback from others, I’d affirm my positive actions. But not only that, I would project that positive reinforcement to others around me.

So, lets say I made a presentation at work. When my boss or a coworker approached me, I would give them positive feedback on my presentation. I’d say things like, I’m feeling really good about today’s presentation. Our numbers this quarter were really encouraging and I think we can do amazing things on the items I mentioned. 

When you exude that type of positive energy about yourself and don’t expect it from others, it creates a more accepting and positive environment around you and emanates confidence.

So, whenever you do something, try to give positive reinforcement for yourself and believe in them, instead of expecting it from others. Whether its at work or in your personal relationships, always congratulate yourself and profess your achievements.

Be compassionate with yourself.

That is probably the most important tip I can give in trying to handle stress. Throughout the day, regardless of what you are doing, keep reminding yourself to be compassionate with yourself. Taking care of yourself, by being kind to yourself is the best way to handle stress.

We are not supposed to always perfectly navigate ourselves through the maze of life. Sometimes, we will make mistakes, sometimes feel guilty, sad, frustrated or lost but always we should be compassionate with ourselves. Take it easy on your beautiful self.

You are not responsible for the feeling of others.

One of the most stressful things that we don’t pay attention to is feeling responsible for other’s feelings.

I used to always be extra careful and extra PC about everything I did and said until I realized how much stress it was giving me. All it took was someone to point out that I’m not responsible for the feelings of others. People feel the way they feel not because of what you said or did but because of variety of factors that is personal to them. Their past experiences, views and personalities are effecting their feelings.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be compassionate towards the feelings of others. But you are definitely not responsible for them.

Sometimes, people can be jerks.

One of the biggest stressors in our lives are other people. Whether it’s our bosses, our family, partner or friends, they can intentionally or unintentionally give you the biggest stress.

Its a known fact that sometimes people can be jerks. We all have been cruel to someone at some point in our lives. Even if we haven’t noticed it. Its important to give people benefit of the doubt. But also not to take it personally.

Just remember that your self worth is inherent in you, it’s not outside of you.

One of the things that helped me to handle stress is to remind myself that no matter what happens in life, my self worth does not depend on whatever is happening outside of myself. My self worth is intrinsic. Its embedded in my mind and soul. No one can take it away from me.

Remember that no one can define you, but you.

Stress is a funny thing, we all have it. How we handle is is what’s important. Just keep practicing the tips that have worked for me and hopefully they will also make a difference for you.