11 Easy Ways to Handle Stress
by Alison Blackman Dunham of THE ADVICE SISTERS®
One of the most singificant problems human beings face as a general population is how to handle stress. As a life & career expert, and an acclaimed advice columnist, I have compiled eleven of the most significant ways that you can reduce stress in your life. You may not always be able to make stress dissappear, but you can manage it with some very simple techniques.
1. Talk! Don't hold all your feelings within! Discuss your stressful feelings with someone you trust who will listen without being judgmental or pressuring you to their own point of view. Even if you can't change the immediate situation, talking about it helps alleviate some of the tension you may be feeling. Supplement the verbalizing with something physical.
2. ACT! Be willing to take risk and make change, no matter how small. Try to change the stressful situation, or at least some part of it. Moving forward in small ways helps you feel empowered and in control. Put one foot in front of the other to move in a positive direction. Soon, the stress will lessen.
3. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! If you learn about how your body reacts to stress, you can also learn how to counter that stress. Learn to listen to your body's signals and find ways to reduce your stress, even if it's just "taking five" to clear your mind.
4. BE IN CHARGE! Discover what you need to feel good about yourself and get your needs met. Another way to reduce your stress is to find an interest, hobby or activity where you feel in charge and call the shots. If you really feel out of control, don't stay silent and alone! Seek guidance from someone who is qualified to help you get through the obstacles, and move forward again. If you can't find someone qualified in your neighborhood or you don't feel as though you can talk to someone "in person" try a qualified internet counselor.
5. DON'T OVERWHELM YOURSELF: If you are stressed and overwhelmed, perhaps you are trying to handle too much. Rid yourself of extra duties that aren't necessary or important. Learn how to delegate and how to say "no" without feeling guilty. Ask for help if you need it.
6. GET AWAY: Sometimes a change, however small, can do wonders for your spirit. Forget it all for a while--escape! Go somewhere new for a few hours, or a few days if you can afford to. If not, it may be helpful just to "get away" to a warm bath for a little while!
7. PRIORITIZE: You may not be able to avoid all the responsibilities obligations you currently have, but you can learn how to complete them without resentment and consciously choose how you will handle them.
8. EXTEND YOURSELF: Make your own life better by making someone else's life better. Give of yourself. Volunteer! You will feel empowered, positive, important...and you will be!
9. MAKE SUCCESS HAPPEN! If you can't change the world, change yourself! Learn how to love yourself as you are, while you work towards your goals. Then, make a commitment to yourself to start improving the things about yourself and your life that (you believe) need it. Instead of immediate, dramatic change, learn to enjoy the journey of lifelong self-improvement. You are always a work in progress. For life & career advice.
10. SOCIALIZE: Spend time with family and friends for love and support. Don't be afraid to enjoy yourself! Appreciate friendship and let others know you care about them, too. Love may not conquer all, but it's a great start!
11. LEARN HOW TO BE HAPPY: One thing all of life's winners have in common is a sense of well-being, a positive attitude and realistic goals. Focus on the good things about yourself, and in your life. Nobody's perfect. Learn to enjoy the "little things" that make you happy. Count your blessings. Every day, write down on a slip of paper one thing you are grateful for, even if it's just a sunny day, a friend's phone call, your cat's happy purr. Put this "blessing" in a jar along with a dollar or more. Do this for one month. At the end of the month read all those slips of paper and you will realize that life is better than you think! Use the money to do something really special for yourself, or donate it to charity.