Posted on March 11, 2015 by Debra Burdick
Do you ever feel stressed out, overwhelmed, exhausted? Yes? Then you are not alone. Life and work can be very busy, incredibly demanding and amazingly stressful. Even positive things can end up feeling stressful such as weddings, new work, moving.
Here are 3 steps you can take to lower the stress and lower your own response to stress.
Step 1. Identify the stressors. Set aside a few minutes to step back from your busy schedule and think about what stresses you the most. Make a list of the things that you feel stressed about just thinking about them. Now number them in order of how stressed they make you feel.
Step 2. Decrease the stressors. Look at your list from step 1. Is there any way to change the situation associated with any of these stressors? Here are some ideas:
- Chances are you are trying to do too much and paying the price in your health and emotional state. Start with a goal to take about 30% of your tasks off you To Do list.
- Ask for an extension on a deadline.
- Get some help to do those tasks that you don’t personally need to do. This could be in the form of an assistant or even an intern to help with your work. It might involve hiring a cleaning lady, asking family members to help with certain tasks, or finding a trusted babysitter. Perhaps you could give a task to someone else and take it off your plate completely.
- Do you need a change in your work or business? Are you working too many hours? Are you frustrated with your progress? Is it time to think about a new job or a new direction for your business? Look at what is the most profitable and focus on that. Think about your priorities in life and eliminate those things that are not in line with them.
- Do you need to say “no” more often? Do you try to please everyone else except yourself? Before taking on another task (and associated stress) make sure you would enjoy doing it and that you have time to do it without adding stress to your life.
- Eliminate any stressors that can be eliminated.
- Avoid contact with people who stress you out.
Step 3. Control your stress response. There may be various stressors that you cannot eliminate, avoid nor change. Once you have eliminated or changed as many of the stressors as possible the next step is to look at how you respond to stress. Are you putting pressure on yourself from within? How much of the stress comes from your life and how much are you generating yourself by how you choose to think about and respond to stress? What are you doing to minimize the impact of stress?
Learn to control your response to stress.
- Reset your stress response periodically by doing a deep relaxation breath (see below for how to do this)
- Make sure to get regular exercise
- Increase awareness of how your body responds to stress
- Practice mindfulness skills to stay present and calm
- Incorporate a meditation practice
- Look at you subconscious attitudes, false beliefs and core wounds with a professional to make some inner changes
- Eat a nutritious diet
- Get a good night’s sleep
- Talk about your feelings with a trusted family member or friend
- Develop a plan for changing the stressor when it becomes possible
- Increase awareness of your self-talk and negative thinking and replace with positive thoughts that feel better
- Spend time in nature
Learn how to do a relaxation breath here. Want to stay up to date on great skills to help you create happiness, healing and success? Get exclusive mindfulness and stress reduction tips that I share with people who join my list. Click here and sign up for the Brain Lady Blog.
I would love to hear your personal experiences with this topic.