Your 5 Step Program to Stress Management

We all have a favourite expression when it comes to being stressed out, but I won’t bother naming all of them since they probably vary a lot dependent on what language you speak. But when it comes down to it, I think that normally it is safe to say that stress (or the effects of it) is usually work related.

Since stress is pretty much unavoidable in life, it is important to find ways to decrease and prevent stressful incidents and decrease negative reactions to stress. Here are some of the things that can be done by just remembering it, since life is basically a routine to follow like brushing your teeth or eating breakfast. You can do a few of them in a longer span of time, but as they say– every minute counts.

1. Managing Time

Time management skills can allow you more time with your family and friends and possibly increase your performance and productivity. This will help reduce your stress.

To improve your time management follow these simple steps:

  • Save time by focusing and concentrating, delegating, and scheduling  time for yourself.
  • Keep a record of how you spend your time, including work, family, and  leisure time.
  • Prioritize your time by rating tasks by importance and urgency.  Redirect your time to  those activities that are important and  meaningful to you.
  • Manage your commitments by not over or undercommitting. Don’t commit to  what is not important to you.
  • Deal with procrastination by using a day planner, breaking large  projects into smaller ones, and setting short-term deadlines.
  • Examine your beliefs to reduce conflict between what you believe and  what your life is like.

2. Build Healthy Coping Strategies

It is important that you identify your coping strategies. One way to do this is by recording the stressful event, your reaction, and how you coped with it, in a stress journal. With this information, you can work to change unhealthy coping strategies into healthy ones that help you focus on the positive and what you can change in your life.

3. Lifestyle

Some behaviours and lifestyle choices affect your stress level. They may not cause stress directly, but they can interfere with the ways your body seeks relief from stress. Try to:

  • Balance personal, work, and family needs and obligations.
  • Have a sense of purpose in life.
  • Get enough sleep, since your body recovers from the stresses of the day while you are sleeping.
  • Eat a balanced diet for a nutritional defense against stress.
  • Get moderate exercise throughout the week.
  • Limit your consumption of alcohol.
  • Don’t smoke.

4. Social Support

Social support is a major factor in how we experience stress. Social support is the positive support you receive from family, friends, and the community. It is the knowledge that you are cared for, loved, esteemed, and valued. More and more research indicates a strong relationship between social support and better mental and physical health.

5. Changing Thinking

When an event triggers negative thoughts, you may experience fear, insecurity, anxiety, depression, rage, guilt, and a sense of worthlessness or powerlessness. These emotions trigger the body’s stress, just as an actual threat does. Dealing with your negative thoughts and how you see things can therefore help reduce stress levels.

  • Thought-stopping helps you stop a negative thought to help eliminate stress.
  • Disproving irrational thoughts helps you to avoid exaggerating the negative thought, anticipating the worst, and interpreting an event incorrectly.
  • Problem solving helps you identify all aspects of a stressful event and find ways to deal with it.
  • Changing your communication style helps you communicate in a way that   makes your views known without making others feel put down, hostile, or intimidated. This reduces the stress that comes from poor communication. Use the assertiveness ladder to improve your communication style.

So, Whether you’re the mail guy, the CEO, the Entrepreneur or just the average working parent, stress is one unwanted visitor you should kick out of your life, and I hope these 5 steps above help you to do EXACTLY that.

All the best





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