Newsletter October 31, 2013
We live in a stressful world, and encounter new anxieties every day. It may be hard to believe, but even making small adjustments in our everyday lives can help us achieve a life of less worry and stress!
We are not likely to be looking forward to a reduced worry and lower stress future, so we need to learn how to deal with stress now. Here are some thoughts to keep in mind.
1. Know your warning signs
Learn to recognize when you are feeling over-stressed and try to pin point the problem that is causing your anxiety. It may be a mental reaction but is often shown by your physical reaction. You feel yourself heating up, or your teeth start grinding away or you begin to feel stiff and tense. When you have pin pointed these tale signs recognize them for what they are. Notice your physical reaction and tell yourself, "There is my signal that I am becoming stressed – time to use my stress management principles".
2. Take a break
We are all busy people, but it is important for our health and well being that we take breaks when we are feeling overwhelmed. Grab a glass of water, go for a walk, or simply take a step away from your desk. Sitting for long periods, staring at a screen is the reality for many of us, and that can be tiring. Take every opportunity to stand and move around, get the blood circulating to help invigorate yourself.
3. Stay enthusiastic
Maintain a positive attitude and you will be able to face whatever is making you worry. "We are what we think" is a truism we all know but tend to forget. Watch yourself talk, when you are under stress because the balance can quickly shift to the negatives. "Count your blessings" is another piece of ancient wisdom we often forget as well. The situation is rarely 100% negative and disastrous. Look for positives to help you climb out of the mental morass you may find yourself in.
4. Let others know that you are feeling overwhelmed.
It is alright to ask for help. Nobody wants to hear about a problem when it is too late to do anything about it. If things are not going well, and you are stressed, then get the cooperation of your boss or co-workers to come up with a solution earlier rather than later. Independence is great, so is individual accountability and reliability, but not at the cost of something blowing up because you are just overwhelmed. Speak up early and get assistance.
5. Learn to say 'no'.
If you don't think you can handle another item on your plate don't agree to do it. Often we are at the receiving end of the line when it comes to meeting demands, and they usually come from above! It is always a good practice to check where this latest demand fits into the priority list. What other tasks that you are already currently busy with, should you put aside to concentrate on this new one. Great question – try it!
Take care of the most important, urgent matters first. You can’t do everything, but you can get the most important thing done each day. If you keep doing the most important thing every day, you will be very successful because most of us find ourselves doing the least important things all day! The trick is decide what that most important thing is – write it down and then decide the next most important thing, until we have a prioritized list to work off. The productivity difference between doing things by priority and just doing "stuff" is enormous.
7. Write down how you are feeling
This often helps to put things into perspective. Somehow writing things down is magic. It helps us to solidify and clarify our miasma of thoughts and ideas whirling around in our heads. We become busier and busier, more and more stressed, but we get no further advanced. Go for clarity – write down the issue that is bothering you.
8. Enjoy yourself!
Don't waste time on worry. Enjoy time with your friends and family and try not to let worry take over. Set aside time for worrying and put a limit on just how much worrying you going to give a problem. Go the gym, go for a walk, spend time with your family and friends – you will feel much, much better.