Stress affects millions of people across the world, but it has a particularly heavy impact on high achievers. People with exceptionally high ambition sometimes have a narrow idea of success that defines their life, so they constantly feel stressed out attempting to achieve their goals.
Even though it’s common, stress has a negative impact on both physical and mental health. It can cause high blood pressure, depression, anxiety, and other unwelcome effects.
If you’re a high achiever, here are some ways to manage your stress so it doesn’t disrupt your life.
1. Talk with a therapist
Therapy isn’t just for treating major disorders. According to TherapyTribe.com, It can also help reduce stress when you’re feeling overwhelmed or don’t know why you’re feeling anxious about your goals. Stress management therapy is designed to help you cope with things like fear, uncertainty, life perceptions, and the stress that comes from setting unrealistic expectations of yourself.
If leaving the house or taking time off work to drive to a therapist’s office sounds like too much work or more stress, you don’t have to do that. In the last few years, online therapy has become a popular alternative to traditional office visits. It works the same way, but your therapy session takes place over a video-conferencing application.
Having support from a therapist will help you pinpoint the root cause of your stress, and you’ll have the opportunity to work through them with someone trained to see beyond the surface.
2. Ease up on your definition of success
Aiming for a successful life is admirable, but a narrow, rigid definition of success can cause unnecessary stress. Putting too much pressure on yourself to achieve big goals can actually backfire and prevent you from getting what you want. You might even experience burnout along the way.
High school students are especially prone to stress caused by how they define success. For example, many students feel like success is getting high grades, scoring in the top percentile on tests, getting into a prestigious university, and earning a high salary.
According to data published by Thrive Global, 75% of high school students reported feeling stressed out by schoolwork, and over two-thirds were worried about getting into their chosen college. That’s a lot of pressure.
Whether you’re still in school or not, try easing up on how you define success. The first place to start is to be flexible. Success is arbitrary, so you already set the rules. If you’re getting stressed out on the way to a goal, dial it back a bit. Ask yourself, “What do I really want? What is my real goal?” Do you really want to generate one million dollars per year, or did you set that goal randomly? Maybe your desire is to build a business that gives you the freedom to travel and take time off whenever you want. That may not require one million in annual income, which means struggling to reach that goal is creating unnecessary stress in your life.
3. Take breaks
It’s crucial to take breaks, even if you don’t think it’s necessary, because you might not be able to accurately judge your needs. Resting is important because it helps regulate stress levels before they become a problem.
Female high achievers between the ages of 35-54 tend to fill many different roles, which can significantly increase the likelihood of being diagnosed with anxiety. Often, anxiety is the result of prolonged stress.
Whether you’re already feeling negatively impacted by stress or you just want to keep it at bay, make sure you’re getting plenty of physical and mental rest. You don’t have to go hard 24/7 to reach your goals. Take good care of yourself because if you burn yourself out, you’ll struggle even harder.
4. Meditate daily
Meditation has been shown to reduce stress and provides a host of additional benefits, like:
· Helping you see a new perspective regarding a stressful situation
· Reducing negative thoughts and feelings
· Increasing patience
· Improving sleep
· Lowering blood pressure
· Increased focus on the present
All of the above benefits contribute to dissolving stress, but the effects are cumulative, and you’ll need daily practice to get results.
Don’t let stress control your life – you can do something
Stress has a negative impact on physical and mental well-being, but it doesn’t have to control you. Try the tips outlined in this article to reduce stress and anxiety, and gain peace of mind while you continue to achieve your goals.
Last Updated: July 27, 2023