You’ve read articles about how to unwind from a stressful day, heck we’ve even written some of them. But we wonder, if maybe a more important article for you to read is about how to overcome stressful situations before they actually occur.
Let’s face it, a “stress free” life is impossible but, if we are honest with ourselves, we can discern which stress is unneeded. If you endeavor to carefully edit your life and remove some potentially harmful habits and behaviors, you can eliminate stress where possible in your life. The thing you have to realize is, it’s not what situations you face in life that effect stress, it’s how you react to the situations you are faced with that will make all the difference in the world.
Imagine this fictional scenario. Meet Jack, he’s just like you and I. On Monday he slept through his alarm. He woke up in a disoriented panic 20 minutes after he was supposed to. He had to rush through his morning routine and as a result, he forgot to brush his teeth, he missed a spot while shaving and even mismatched his socks. As he heads out the door and to his car, he notices he forgot his wallet and had to rush back into the house. When he finally got to the car, he realized he left the keys in the house and had to double back yet again. Now a full 30 minutes late for work, he gets in his car to brave rush-hour traffic on the thru-way. As he exits his sub-division he gets cut off by a large truck, which is also raining debris all over the road. In frustration he beeps his horn and gestures to the trucker. Oh this is going to be a GREAT day! By the time he gets to work, he is in a less than chipper mood. He arrives to his desk to a pile of papers and a full e-mail box and looming deadlines.
Maybe this is a little extreme, but we can all relate to days that start out like this. How can we respond to these situations and rebound with grace and eliminate stress? Here are 5 tools you can keep in your toolbox for combating stress in your life.
Identify the things that trigger stress
This is a really essential step to eliminating stress. Sit down and take a fearless moral inventory of the things that set you off. Maybe you could start with a top 10 list and work from there. Think about the things you can avoid all together. Think about the things you can’t avoid and think about how you could respond differently to them.
Let go of commitments that are holding you back
Sometimes we obligate ourselves to things that seem practical at first but after time reveal themselves to be more trouble than they are worth. Getting rid of some of these commitments can give you the sanity you have been grasping for. Sometimes it’s easier to move on than to keep trying to “muster up” the will to keep at it. Be honest with yourself!
Don’t be a procrastinator
Maybe it’s impossible for you to avoid this behavior completely, but certainly you can work at discerning when this behavior is especially harmful. Letting it all pile up will leave you feeling inadequate and overwhelmed. A good start is to keep your email inbox clean and your desk clear. You’ll feel better, trust us!
We all have disorganization in our lives. Even when we create a system things get unhinged over time. Don’t let this frustrate you. Focus on getting rid of the visual clutter and keeping things neat. You’ll –feel- better about yourself if you do.
Don’t be Late
People lose trust in you when you are late. Being late also affects your confidence once you show up. Get in the habit of being early and this stress disappears. Now that you have some practical advice on how to overcome stress, go out there and put it into action.
We’ll post part 2 of this article soon with more stress busting tips next week!