We all have this favorite expression when it comes to being stressed out. When it comes down to it, I think that it is how we look at work, or even relax, that triggers stress. Ever been stressed even when you're relaxing and doing nothing? I know I have.
Since stress is unavoidable in life, it is important to find ways to decrease it as well as prevent stressful incidents. We can decrease negative reactions to stress. Here are some of the things that can be done by just remembering that, life is basically a routine to follow; like brushing your teeth or eating breakfast.
Time management skills can allow you more time with your family and friends and possibly increase your performance and productivity. This will do much to help reduce your stress.
To improve your time management:
- Save time by focusing actions, delegating, and scheduling time for yourself.
- Keep a record of how you spend your time, including work, family, and down time.
- Prioritize your time by rating tasks by importance and urgency. Redirect your time to those top 3 activities that are important and meaningful to you. Loading too many tasks will overwhelm you.
- Manage your commitments by not over(or under)-committing. Don't commit to what is not important to you or what will take away from the key tasks at hand.
- Deal with procrastination by using a day planner (I firmly believe paper is better, in this case). Break large projects into smaller ones, and set short-term deadlines.
- Examine your beliefs and convictions to reduce conflict between what you believe and what your life is like. Pray for Holy Spirit guidance. Many times, I have sought to do something that I really wanted to do, but I sense that His Spirit is holding me back from it. Listen to that voice.
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 cope in your journal. With this information, you can work to change unhealthy coping strategies into healthy ones - those that help you focus on the positive and what you can change or control in your life. "Serenity now!" - George Costansas (Seinfeld)
Some behaviors and lifestyle choices affect your stress level. Even if they don't cause stress directly, but they can interfere with the ways your body seeks relief from stress. Try to:
Exercise each day.
Reduce or eliminate sugar.
Turn off the TV.
Think of one thing you are grateful for, and share it each day.
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.
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 help reduce stress.
- Thought-stopping helps you stop a negative thought to help eliminate stress. This is the message of II Cor. 10:5 - "Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;"
- Disproving irrational thoughts helps you to avoid exaggerating the negative thought, anticipating the worst, and interpreting an event incorrectly. Positive mindset is key. It helps us to not judge others.
- 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. If you struggle with social media and the negative talk, stay away for your own health.
When you work at a desk like me, you can get stressed even though we're just using our hands to type on a keyboard. Having to sit for 7 or 8 hours is stressful on your body. Our bodies were made to move. Whether you're the mail guy, the CEO, or the average working parent, stress is one unwanted visitor you would love to kick out of your homes and your life altogether.
What are you grateful for? Share with us in the box below.