Are you feeling overly stressed? Are all the chores you have to take care of leaving you feeling overwhelmed, exhausted and, at times, enraged? If so, this article is for you.
First thing you must do to reduce the stress in your life is to know that stress is not what happens to you; it’s how you respond to what happens to you. This is not a blame statement telling you that it’s all your fault; chill out. It’s an optimistic statement that says, no matter what stressors are in your life, you can respond to them in a less stressful way.
So, if you’re ready to learn the secrets of stress management, read on:
- Tasks can expand to fill time available, much like gas filling up a room. Hence, don’t give yourself too much time to accomplish a task or it will take on a bigger presence than it needs to. Schedule your tasks so that you allow enough time for the unexpected. Lots of tasks take longer than you think they will.
- Don’t think every task needs to be done really well. Distinguish between what needs to be done just ok (so you can scratch it off your list), what needs to be done well (because it’s important to you or someone you care for) and what is not particularly worth doing at all (so many of our tasks are self-imposed).
- Break down large, overwhelming tasks into smaller tasks that can be completed within a manageable period of time. This will give you a feeling of success even though you haven’t completed the whole project.
- Do what needs to be done in a timely manner. If you don’t, you’ll frequently find yourself putting out fires that would not exist if you had responded earlier.
- Guard against mentally catastrophizing a situation (Oh My God! I can’t deal with this!!!). It will only make tough challenges tougher, more threatening than they really are.
- There’s a thin line between feeling excited about a situation and feeling stressed about it. Pay more attention to what excites you (I’ve got a great group coming over for the holidays!), less attention to what stresses you (It’s going to be a lot of work!).
- Don’t believe the hype that you can have it all. You can’t. Hence, say “No” to some requests or self-imposed tasks. Then, you’ll have time and energy for saying “Yes” to what’s really important to you.
- Stress is contagious. Hence, increase the time you spend with optimistic, upbeat people; minimize the time you spend with pessimistic, doom and gloom folks.
- Relax! Breathe! No, not just a quick breath. A slow one. Then an even slower one; finally one that is really a slow deep inhale; a slow, deep exhale. Life is not all about getting things done. Hence, make sure you schedule time for what you want to do, not just what you think you have to do. Often, the time to relax is precisely when you don’t have the time for it. Hence, when you’re feeling most stressed, take at least 15 minutes out of your day to listen to music, nap, stretch, or chat with a friend who lifts your spirits.
“Sometimes it’s important to work for that pot of gold.
But other times it’s essential to take time off
and make sure that your most important decision of the day
consists of choosing which color to slide down on the rainbow.”