There are different categories for stress, but let’s talk about stress that can be controlled. This is stress that stems from personal actions and emotions. Maybe you missed the bus and are running late to work or perhaps a relationship with a co-worker is in a rough patch which is causing you stress. The reality is you are creating stress as a reaction to those situations.
An extreme example of this is illustrated in an episode of The Office called “Stress Relief.” After suffering from a heart attack, one of the characters, Stanley, reveals that his boss, Michael, is the source of his stress. While Michael does have some invasive personality traits and frequently causes trouble in the office, Stanley could choose not to let that cause him stress.
So what does “Stanley stress” look like in your life? There are likely habits and attitudes you could adopt to help you take control. Below are mental, physical and emotional ways to reduce stress.
25 Tips for stress management:
- Eat healthy foods to physically boost your mood
- Drink a lot of water
- Get plenty of rest so you have high energy
- Exercise frequently
- Keep a to-do list and enjoy checking items off
- Prioritize around your priorities rather than everything you want to do
- Don’t overbook your schedule, it will only leave you feeling incompetent
- Take notes to reduce how much information you have to remember
- Organize your living and work spaces
- Give others the same patience you hope to receive
- Side-step topics that upset you in conversations, you don’t have to be direct all the time
- Have a conversation plan to deal with the people who cause you stress
- Practice developing positive views of stressful situations
- Be honest with yourself
- Don’t bottle up emotions, and instead designate when to talk and when to release through other means such as “kick boxing”
- Set aside time for relaxation or meditation
- Don’t lose your sense of humor
- Smile frequently because it is a proven method of improving your mood
- Learn you cannot always have complete control
- Show dedication to your loved ones, but also create “just you” time
- Over-estimate time consumption when planning tasks on your schedule to be sure you don’t fall behind
- Forgive others for the sake of your own mental health
- Make time for enjoyable activities like games, movies and other entertainment and call it “not to do” time
- Memorize an encouraging quote
- Schedule relaxing activities in to your schedule just like the stressful ones
- Do one good deed every day, no matter how small, it is proven to create good hormones in your body
Going forward, remember life is about “living it to the max.” There are items, situations, people, tasks, or scenarios which based on your experience, you know create stressful situations for you, usually due to a predisposition to a similar scenario from the past. Use the 98% rule; 98% of the time, you can anticipate 98% of the situations that can get you agitated or frustrated. Have a game plan for them in advance, so that you know what to do when worst case scenarios happen. This will give your brain ease in not getting to override quickly and reframe your mind around being organized and in charge rather than being a victim. Heart and mind; we are the owner of both.