Learn to manage your stress

With this helpful article!

All too often people are misunderstood for the inability to seem "normal".  The stigma built around mental health and it being a scary thing has unfortunately become the "normal" and it leaves people without the knowledge of how little or large of an impact it can make on an individual.  Shyness, anxiety, a disorder or whatever it may be, can be very difficult to deal with and a lot of the time there is no outside help.  Being able to help yourself is important and through the use of SMART goals, you can make larger strides in getting back to feeling who you are, what you should be and where you should be at.

What are SMART goals?

SMART goals are clear and reachable actions that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time based.  While these types of goals are primarily used in a work environment, you can easily use these for your own emotional health.  Being able to complete these reachable actions trains your mind that you are able to accomplish what you set out to do, and the more you continue completing these smaller tasks, the larger picture begins to unveil itself.  Here are some examples of what you can do for each part of the SMARTacronym and your overall action.

Specific (simple and significant)

This part of the action can be defined using the very well known "W" questions of what, why and who.  Other "W" questions do exist, such as where and which, but those can be harder to tie emotional actions to.

The what is asking you what you want to accomplish.

The why is asking you why this action is important.

The who is asking you who might be involved in this process.

An answer to these three "W" questions will be different for everyone.  Some of the generic answers may be "to no longer feel anxious" or "so no one looks at me like I'm a bad person anymore".  Try to really think about these questions and come up with an answer that's personal and specific to you.  There is no right or wrong way.

Measurable (meaningful and motivating)

Being able to track the progress of your action is important as it will help you to continue on the path of completion.  Again, this will be different for everyone, but an example could be "anytime I feel anxious, I will text three friends".  In that example, you're providing a measure of three, it's meaningful as you're reaching out to friends via text message and it's motivating since you may start to feel less anxious during the process of texting.

Attainable (achievable)

While creating your action, it needs to be something that's even possible.  For example, if your action is "to no longer feel anxious ever again", that's not an attainable piece as most likely you will end up feeling anxious again.  Instead, your attainable piece could be "to not feel anxious today and tomorrow".  While this is a much shorter time frame, it's more likely to be possible.

Relevant (reasonable)

There is never a point in setting an action if it isn't relevant to you.  For example, if I'm shy and I set an action of "to not be depressed anymore", that's probably not relevant to me and my action is already going to not provide any outcome.

Time Based (target date)

Every action needs a completion date, but it may not necessarily be immediately.  In order to properly gain an idea for when your target date for the action is, you need to ask yourself:

When should it be done?

What can I do once it's done?

What can I do a year from now?

What can I do today?

I hope that you all have gotten some useful information from this as mental health is an extreme passion of mine.  I am always willing to support anyone if they need help with anything.