There are many ways to deal with stress. It may be through a philosophy, or in sport or music or by taking as many stress factors out of your life as you can.
Your personality type may determine what works best for you. So our list of 10 is by no means complete or the last word. Hope these suggestions help.
1. Try looking at the world in a different way.
Imagine for a moment that you are a wave-lashed mountain in the middle of an ocean. Each wave — big or small — represents a stress in your life. For instance, a parking ticket could be a breaker on the rocks. Imagine that an argument is a wave that washes up the beach. A health problem or family strife could crash much higher. The death of a loved one might be a fierce wave that sweeps right across the mountain. But in the end, the mountain will still be standing and still enduring all the world throws at it.
Road rage happens quite often because impatient drivers expect people to behave the way they (cranky drivers) want them to. That attitude is destined to fail, no matter whether it’s applied to driving or any other activity. You can only really control yourself. Don’t set yourself up for stress with unrealistic expectations. Do the best you can to see the other person’s point of view.
3. Learn to say NO
If you’re feeling out of control or overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to put your foot on the brakes. You may be taking on too much and people may be expecting too much from you. There is so much we have to do anyway, give yourself permission to say “no” to those things that aren’t worth stressing about.
Put more fun into your life. Laugh. Find those things that make you happy… family, friends, movies, sport. When’s the last time you had a good belly laugh?
Whether it’s an applied technique or a genuine calling, many high functioning people cultivate a passion in something — the thoracic surgeon who’s an enthusiastic model train hobbyist, the forex trader who keeps bees or the medical doctor with the fine wine collection. Passions can transport the faithful far from the stresses and ho-hum of the daily grind.
6. Time management
Running late for deadlines or appointments is one sure way of stressing out. It can be so easily avoided with planning and management methods that are widely available. For a start, commit to a week/ a month of leaving for appointments half hour ahead of time.. no matter what compromises you have to make. Time management must become an effortless habit.
7. Take a stress inventory
Write down a list of your stresses. Can you knock some out? Sure you can’t easily eliminate the mortgage, but you may be able to do some horse-trading with a friend who could pick the kids up on days when you’re busy. Find a different way of dealing with an argumentative person, decide to look at the funny side of some situations or get started on projects a little earlier to avoid last minute deadlines. List your stresses and decide which ones can be eliminated or changed.
8. Don’t sweat it
If you can’t change it, don’t stress about it. There are things we can prepare for that will change an outcome. Other things we will never be able to change, no matter how much we worry. Obviously it’s hard not to worry when a loved is in trouble, but there are many more times where we can say — if I can’t change it, I won’t worry about it.
9. Stay in the present
Ever see some tourists taking pictures? They click away then get back into the bus. I guess they’re going to enjoy the place, the time, the experience back home when they look at those snaps. But wouldn’t it be better if we could enjoy the moment as it’s happening. People who can aren’t stressing about a report that’s due or a confrontation with a colleague or an overdue bill.
10. Make a contract with yourself
Whether it’s stress or any other problem, nothing will change unless you change it. No pills, no magic. You have to behave your way to success. Strike a deal with yourself to make what ever changes you see necessary and commit to trying them out for a defined period, such as a month. No matter what happens, make those changes. If the old way of doing things wasn’t working, you can’t expect a different result unless you change.