How to Manage Stress in 6 Easy Steps
by: Brooke Neal
Stress. We all experience it. Most of the time we feel stressed when we have too much to do, too much on our minds, we feel other people are making unreasonable demands on us, or when something happens that we have no control over. Sometimes we feel helpless, like we have no control and there is nothing we can do. Although everyone responds to stress differently, there are some basic steps everyone can take to relieve stress and regain a sense of control over their lives. Follow these tips to learn how to manage stress:
1. Identify the Source
Many times it’s easy to identify our source of stress: moving, unemployment, relationship problems. However, sometimes identifying the sources of day to day stress can be more difficult. Take time and identify what you are actually stressed about. Look closely at your habits, attitudes, and excuses. If you are having difficulty pinpointing the exact stressors, try using a journal to help identify patterns and common themes. When you feel stressed, write down possible causes, how you feel, how you react, and what makes you feel better. By getting specific and pinpointing the stressors in your life, you’re one step closer to getting organized and taking action.
2. Practice Healthy Habits
Even though you are busy, it is essential that you make time in your schedule to take care of yourself. Ultimately, exercising, eating right, and getting enough sleep benefit you in the long-run. Eating a balanced diet, regular physical activity, and getting enough sleep reduces stress, depression, and anxiety; lifts your mood; boosts your energy level; improves concentration; makes you more alert; clears your head; enables you to better cope with adversity; boosts your immune system; and increases your self-esteem. It is also important not to use drugs, alcohol, and tobacco to help deal with the stresses of work and life; instead find healthier ways to relieve stress such as yoga and exercise.
3. Relax and Have Fun
Regularly make time for the people and things you love. Don’t get so caught up in the stressors of life that you forget to take time for yourself. It is important to build and maintain a network of close friends and family that you can reach out to when things are hard. Talking things through with someone you trust can help you find solutions to your stress and put your problems into perspective. It is also essential to set aside time for relaxation and fun. Schedule something to look forward to such as: playing tennis with a friend, a massage, reading for enjoyment, watching your favorite show, or taking a long bath. If you have trouble relaxing, check out these relaxation tips.
4. Manage Your Time Better
One of the biggest stressors for many people is poor time management. In order to reduce stress, plan ahead and don’t overextend yourself. Make a to-do list, and prioritize your tasks by putting the things that need to be done first at the top. Take note of tasks that can be delegated to others, and organize other tasks into groups that need to be completed within the next week, month, or longer. For more on managing your time more wisely, view our blog post on Time Management. Time management is key to learning how to manage stress.
5. Just Say No
It is very important that you learn to say “no”. Sometimes you can take on too many responsibilities causing you to become overwhelmed and stressed out. As a result, you are unproductive at work and at home. In order to reduce stress you must set boundaries on what and how many responsibilities you are willing to accept at work and in your personal life. For example, if a coworker asks for help on a project, but your plate is already full for the week, explain to them you can’t this week, but would be happy to help next week when you have less obligations.
6. Adapt or Accept
Adapting your expectations, attitudes, and reactions to stressful situations can help you regain a sense of control and decrease your stress levels. Look for the positive in stressful situations and accept that there are some things you have no control over. Try looking at the big picture and focusing on things you can control. While you may not be able to control some things that happen to you in your life, you can always control how you choose to react.
Discounted Course: STRESS MANAGEMENT
This course familiarizes employees with stress management techniques. It identifies the difference between reactions to real sources of stress and reactions to symbolic sources of stress. This course identifies the sources and significance of stress and effective methods for how to manage stress and improve personal health and job performance.
Regularly $15.00 / Now $10.00