When life gets overwhelming--the to-do list is long, 20 tabs open, traffic is taking forever, inbox is overflowing, notifications keep pinging--we chalk it all up to stress. And then we stress about the stress, making life feel that much more stressful.
Our definition of "stress" is largely a modern concoction. Google "define stress" and you'll notice its use over time has increased dramatically in just the last few decades. We only recently learned to blame the normal busyness and anxiety of life on stress.
By giving it a name we made it a target, one we can now obsess over until we create a whole new layer of anxiety that didn't exist before.
It's time to stop the stress cycle.
Look at what's worrying you--the to do list, the notifications, the emails--look 'em square in the eye. Don't get angry at them or frustrated with them. Just acknowledge them. Say, "wassup?"
Then... carry on.
You don't cure stress by stressing about it. Dwelling on it is a waste of time and only makes it worse. You cure stress by mindfully, calmly, happily, continually, deliberately, moving forward.
This is mindfulness. Observing all the personal, professional, local, and global items on your ongoing to-do list, and instead of "stressing" about those items, just do them.
Stress is a part of life, but life is only stressful if you let it.