stress

The greatest weapon against stress is

our ability to choose one thought over another.

William James

Everyone has a favorite expression they use when feeling “stressed out.” But it’s not even about what we say, but it is how we work or even try to relax, for that matter, that triggers our stress. Have you ever been stressed even when you know you should be feeling relaxed or bored? I know I have.

So we need to work to find ways to decrease the number and frequency of stressful events we are exposed to, while we work to decrease our negative reactions to the stress. Here are some quick and easy tips to help you manage your stress, rather than having it drag you along for the ride.

1. Manage your time better

Good time management skills will give you more time with your family and friends, grant you more time to explore the things you want to do, and may even increase your performance and productivity at work. This will of course, help reduce your overall stress about not having enough time. Everyone has the same amount. You just need to get a better handle on yours.

How

· Save time by focusing and concentrating on the things that are important, delegating those tasks or duties that can be, and scheduling time for yourself.

· Keep a good record of how you spend your time, including work, family, and leisure time. This will show you where some of your time leaks are. It is only by knowing where you are “losing” time, can you hope to regain it, and use it for the important people and things in your life.

· Prioritize your time by rating tasks by importance and urgency. And, not everything is urgent! Redirect your time to those activities that are the most important and meaningful to you.

· Manage your commitments by not over- or under-committing. Don’t commit to what is not important to you. Learn to say “No.”

· Deal with procrastination by using a day or a to-do list, breaking your larger projects into smaller ones, and setting and sticking to your short-term deadlines.

· Look at your core. Examine your beliefs and work to reduce any conflict between what you believe and what your life is like. Build healthy coping strategies

2. Manage you coping skills

It is important that you identify your coping strategies. One way to do this is by journaling and writing down stressful events and your reaction to the situation. With this information in hand, you can work to change some of your unhealthy coping strategies into healthier ones. You can begin to learn strategies that help you focus on the positive side of things and clearly see what you can change or control in your life.

3. Manage your lifestyle

Some of your behaviors and lifestyle choices can adversely affect your stress level. They may not cause stress directly, but they can interfere with the ways your body seeks to relieve the stress.

How?

· Balance personal, work, and family needs, obligations, and needs. See over- and under-committing above.

· Know why you are here and get clear about what you do. Develop your sense of purpose in life.

· Get enough rest. Your body recovers from the stresses of the day while you are sleeping.

· Eat a balanced diet for a nutritional defense against life’s stresses.

· Get some exercise throughout the week.

4. Manage your social support

Social support is a major contributor in how we experience stress. Social support simply means the positive support you receive from your family, friends, and the community. It is the knowledge that you matter, are cared for, loved, esteemed, and valued that feeds us positive vibes. More and more research is indicating that there is a strong relationship between social support and better mental and physical health.

5. Manage your thinking

When an event triggers negative your negative thinking, you may begin to feel fear, insecurity, anxiety, depression, rage, guilt, a sense of worthlessness or powerlessness. These emotions trigger the body’s defense mechanism, just as an actual threat does. That’s stress. Dealing quickly with your negative thinking and reframing how you see things can help reduce your stress.

How?

· Make it a habit that you stop negative thoughts as soon as they show up in your mind. Disproving your irrational thoughts will help you avoid exaggerating the negative aspect of a situation, anticipating the worst possible outcome, and interpreting an event incorrectly.

· Problem solving helps you identify all the aspects of a stressful event and find useful and functional ways to deal with it.

· Changing your communication style will help you communicate in a way that will make your views known without making others feel like you are putting them down, or that you are being hostile or intimidating. This reduces the stress that comes from poor communication.

Everyone can get stressed. Every job has its inherent issues. Try some of these tips to manage your stress or it will manage you.

Make the choice to get your life back on track!

Thoughts?

Photo Credit: TheeErin via Compfight cc