Stress has a habit of growing when we ignore it. Yes, a certain amount of stress keeps us on our toes but too much and too often is bad for both our performance and our health. To overcome stress, we first need to recognise that stress is happening to us and then we need to take correcting action. Below are 5 ways to do this.
Have a ‘timed’ vent
Venting can be a way of releasing stressful feelings, and a timed vent is an acknowledgement that it is just this and not a way of perpetuating them. Focus your vent into 5 -10 minutes and after that decide to move on. You can vent to yourself either verbally or by writing it down, or you can vent to another person. If you chose to vent to another person then make sure that you can trust and let them know that you aren’t looking for answers but just the opportunity to let it all out.
Be your own wise advisor
What would a wise advisor say to you? ask you? remind you of? advise you to do? Looking at your situation from ‘outside’ and with your ‘wise’ hat on will help you to be objective and resourceful. You will be able to make sensible changes and put yourself back in control. (If you find you can’t step back in this way, then ask a trusted colleague or friend to play the role of wise advisor for you)
Stress has a habit of growing when we ignore it. Yes, a certain amount of stress keeps us on our toes but too much and too often is bad for both our performance and our health. To overcome stress, we first need to recognise it is happening to us and then we need to take correcting action. One of the ways to do this is:
Let go of lesser priority stuff and perfection
List everything that is contributing to your stress and put them in order of priority. Let go of the lower priority stuff for the time being (forever if you can!)
Also let go of ‘perfection’ and go for ‘good enough’ instead
Use your smile toolkit
Collect together a selection of things that always make you smile, photos, memories, songs, jokes, video clip etc. Have these easily at hand and use them when you need to break a ‘stressful-thoughts-loop’.
When you’re stressed it’s easy to think that you must keep going and mustn’t take any time off, when actually the opposite is true. You will actually able to think and act more productively when you have had a break from the persistent feelings of stress. So, plan some ‘holes’ in your day or week to do something that is not a ‘have to do’ activity – it could just be to do nothing at all! Any break is better than no break, so even planning 10 minutes free-time between meetings can help dilute the stress.