Stress is the body’s physical, mental, and chemical reaction to circumstances that frighten, excite, confuse, endanger, or irritate us. The cause of stress can be good or bad.
It can be a truck wheeling around a corner toward us, a move to a new home, loud music, a marriage or divorce, plus a host of other things such as a new person to date, trouble at work, growing older or a meeting with potential in-laws.
Take charge of your life and follow these basic principles to help handle personal and business stress. Review this list periodically and add to it as you become aware of other ways to reduce stress in your own life.
Follow these basic principles to help handle personal stress and business stress.
1. Have fun to reduce stress.
Do things for the sheer fun of it. Each day, plan to something “just for you.” Even if you only have 30 minutes of fun time, don’t let anything stop you from your 30 minutes.
2. Laugh to reduce stress.
Interact with people who make you laugh to reduce tension and boost the immune system.
3. Learn to say “no” to reduce stress.
Too much fun can become boring. When requests and invitations become a burden instead of being enjoyable, it is time to say “no.”
4. Simplify your life to reduce stress.
Move closer to your work, hire a maid, or shop by internet.
5. Delegate responsibility to reduce stress.
Sharing duties allows time together and gets the job done faster.
6. Learn to relax to reduce stress.
Periodically visualize calming scenes; stretch and take deep breaths.
7. To reduce stress, don’t be a workaholic.
Find a healthy balance between work and play.
8. Break tasks into segments to reduce stress.
Break down tasks into easy-to-handle segments and problems. It is easier to eat an elephant one bite at a time.
9. Keep your job skills current to reduce stress.
If you have current job skills, changes and lay-offs at work are not so stressful. You can take the attitude of an acquaintance of mine who takes work with a “Oh, well, I was looking for a job when I got this one. And I might be looking again.” He knows his job skills are in demand.
10. Take care of your family and friends to reduce stress.
Having relationships in your life is less stressful.
11. Examine work habits to reduce stress.
If you are constantly stressed at work, examine your work habits. Maybe you are wasting time.
12. Drink water.
Consume 8-10 glasses of pure water daily.
13. Eat sensibly to reduce stress.
You are what you eat. I personally feel much better since I have eliminated red meat, whole milk, and most sugar from my diet. Maybe a similar diet change would help you, too.
14. Get quality sleep to reduce stress.
Sleep is an essential recovery mechanism. Sleep on your back or sides, not on your stomach.
15. Stop using drugs to reduce stress.
Stop smoking and avoid recreational drugs and alcohol. Remember that food is a drug, also.
16. Schedule time to reduce stress.
Allow enough time to reach the place or goal you wish without rushing.
17. Exercise regularly to reduce stress.
Take a vigorous walk, jog, or swim for an average of 20 minutes daily or 45 minutes three times a week.
18. Control your attitude to reduce stress.
About the only part of your life you can control completely is your attitude.
19. Be prepared to reduce stress.
Don’t stick your head in the sand. Being prepared stops stress in advance.
20. Think positive to reduce stress.
If something is stressful, make a list of every positive aspect of your situation. This doesn’t mean you should go through life as a Pollyanna, however. Then you will rarely, if ever, be prepared–see number 19!
21. Improve yourself to reduce stress.
Broaden your knowledge through reading, seminars, and self- improvement courses.
22. Live within your means to reduce stress.
23. Save money to reduce stress.
Having an emergency “nest egg” makes you less stressed.
24. Consider a career change to reduce stress.
Burnout can be very stressful. If that has happened to you, consider changing careers.
25. Handle stress now to reduce stress.
Putting off stressful events only makes them more stressful. Settle matters that are troubling you “as they occur.” Procrastination usually leads to increased stress for me. And I feel so good when I don’t procrastinate.
Bonus: Choose quality friends to reduce stress. It is important to have friends you can trust and be yourself with. Ask friends for help instead of being too self-reliant.