Stress Managment and Mastery: 6 Stress Busting Tips


In a hectic world, it's all too easy to reach the point of feeling stressed out beyond our ability to cope. Yet it's our ability to cope that makes all the difference. The point is that stress is not going to go away; it's here to stay.

If you find yourself reading a book or attending a seminar that says you can eliminate all stress, either throw the book down or leave the room.

You cannot eliminate stress. But you can learn to handle stress successfully.

Let's look at six different strategies for successfully handling the stress in our lives. Each can be used separately or in conjunction with the others.

1. Talk it out

Whatever we don't talk out, we act out. That's a basic rule of mental health. If we don't discuss the issue, it's sure to surface in some other way.

2. Take mini-vacations

It's a mistake to think that we can push hard all year (or maybe longer) and then expect that all our stress can be healed in a one or two week vacation. It just doesn't happen.

Our bodies, minds and spirits need more frequent breaks. This is especially true if you are one of those people who schedules a vacation as they would a typical work day, so as to get the most out of it.

3. Distinguish between stress and pressure

Stress comes from the outside; pressure, on the other hand, is an inside job. Pressure is what we tell ourselves about the stress.

Here's a saying I came across recently:

"All the water in the ocean can't sink a ship unless it gets inside."

Sometimes, telling ourselves something as simple as "I can handle it" is all we need to keep the stress outside of us.

4. Create your own relaxation triggers

This exercise involves three simple steps that allow you to relax anywhere, any time.

Step 1: Picture yourself in a relaxing place. Create as much detail as you can in the picture, making it bright and colorful. Immerse yourself in the scene: See it, hear it, feel it.

Step 2: While you are picturing yourself in this place, create an immediate trigger that will instantly remind you of the relaxed feeling. It could be a snap of the fingers, a word or phrase, or a mental picture. It should quickly and strongly remind you of your relaxing place.

Step 3: When you find yourself in a stressful situation, simply fire off your relaxation trigger and feel the almost-instant relief.

5. Stop worrying

That sounds too simple, but just consider for a moment: What good, what change has come about from worrying?

6. Take action

Do something about what is causing you to worry. It's difficult to worry when you are busy doing something about it.

This list began with a suggestion that you talk about your stress. That's a good idea, most of the time. It can become a bad thing, though, if that's all you do.

To make stress work for you, it's essential that you take concrete action.

So there are six strategies for making stress work for you. Here's one more suggestion: Practice one of these each day for the next six days.

At the end of those six days, you'll have strong tools for dealing with stress.

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