How to handle our stress
Monday, August 6, 2007/
Stressed? Too many projects you can’t offload? You’ll have to deal with the stress instead. Here is how… I have done it again – taking on too many projects. And I know I am not alone – everywhere I go I hear about people feeling stressed as they overload themselves with too much work.
I am writing this for myself as a reminder as I am continually taking on too many projects!
It would be great to say to anyone stressed – take a break, go for a holiday – but it is not always possible. So what can we do while still on the go?
Here are some simple strategies to deal with our stress:
- Control what you can
You can’t control everything around you – and too many of us get caught up on the things we can do nothing about. So focus on what you can control, and make the changes within your own power. Recognise and let go trying to change what is not within your control.
- Talk to someone
It might be a friend, family member or even a professional counsellor. This is very important if you are starting to stew on things and getting stuck. Women seem to manage this a lot better than men. But it really can help.
Lessen your intake of coffee, tea, cola and other caffeinated drinks. Try and drink more water instead.
Learn and use relaxation techniques This might be yoga, meditation or even getting some relaxation exercise tapes to follow. Find a private place where you won’t be interrupted and allow 10-20 minutes. Doing this will help slow your heartbeat, lower blood pressure, and reduce stress.
Do a calming activity This might be gardening, reading, sewing, watching a peaceful movie, listening to music – something that relaxes you.
Keep things in perspective Keep a balanced view on your life and activities. Don’t blow things out of proportion and see them is impossible.
Learn to let go Don’t dwell on things. Learn to let them go. Use words like “Let it go”, “Chill” or “Breathe” to get away from your negative thinking. Positive self-talk is a great skill.
Regular exercise A great way to manage stress and improve mood is to go and do some exercise. Go for a walk. Do some sport. Even three times a week for an hour.
Use a task list Manage your time and tasks realistically. List things and don’t keep them in your head. Tick them off as they are done. Ticking off each item as you complete it will give you a sense of accomplishment and allow you to stay more in control of your time.
Set priorities Decide on what are the most important things in your life. This also puts into perspective the less important items. Focus on what’s important and allocate time accordingly.
Learn to forgive others People often carry a lot of anger about others – friends, work colleagues, and family who they feel have let them down. Learn to forgive, as forgiveness reduces stress.
Manage you finances When your money situation is out of control it creates enormous stress. Get help and get your financial situation back in control if it is causing you to feel upset.
Improve your communication skills Learn some assertiveness skills and maybe presentation skills – or any skills that might help you deal with conflict and other challenging communication situations more effectively.
Use visualisation Picture a calming place, use a screen saver and have pictures on your desk of people and places that you associate with relaxation.
Laugh out loud Researchers have found laughter lowers stress and stimulates the immune system. So choose the friends who make you laugh, get a comedy DVD and go to shows and places that are fun and funny.
Please add to this list. We all need to reduce stress.
By Eve Ash, psychologist and Managing Director, Seven Dimensions, and co- producer with Peter Quarry of Ash.Quarry productions The Vision for Change (A System of Change Series) www.7dimensions.com.au
To read more Eve Ash blogs, click here.