Farming ranks as one of the top 10 most stressful occupations in the United States. Each day, farm families face a variety of stressors, such as factors vastly outside of their control, including weather, market prices, livestock disease and equipment failures. While it can be easy to allow these to become overwhelming, it is important to remember that having the right mindset can mean the difference between debilitating stress and productive resiliency.
Here are three tips to help keep stress in check:
1. Use Self-Talk
The body hears what the mind thinks, so choose your thoughts with purpose. Tell yourself that you can overcome any challenge. You can adapt. You have come through rough times before, and you can do it again. You cannot always avoid difficult situations, but you can choose the thoughts you have when experiencing stress. Try choosing three words to repeat to yourself when you want to maintain a positive mindset, for example: calm, capable and controlled.
2. Use Your Breath
When faced with a challenge, first use your breath. Deep breathing calms the mind and can help you focus. It can also reduce chronic pain and improve sleep. Try breathing deeply five times, releasing the air slowly. Combine deep breathing with positive self-talk to calm your stress and help you stay on task.
3. Use Acceptance
When things are beyond your control, the most productive step you can take is to accept it. Making acceptance part of your mindset can save you time and energy by letting you focus on the solution instead of getting frustrated by the problem. Try making the word “accept” part of your self-talk and using deep breathing as a time to pause, accept what is and begin problem solving.
Source: Michigan State University Extension