Dealing with stress (Part 2)

In my last post I wrote about five (of ten) ways to deal with stress, based on an article published on LinkedIn by Dr. Terry Bradberry. Today I summarize the rest of the strategies on his list.

  • Sleep. I know that sometimes you just have too much to do to get the 7-8 hours that doctors recommend, but try! You’re going to be more productive, and the work you produce will be better, if you’re well rested.
  • Squash negative self-talk. This is really the same as “Stay positive,” but with a focus on how you think about yourself, how that inner voice may be telling you that something good will never happen or your situation is the worst. If you stop and think about it, those instances where you use words such as “never” and “worst” are most likely exaggerations, so try not to use them in thinking about your own life!
  • Reframe your perspective. Bradberry suggests that when it seems that life is out of control, take some time to make a list of the things that aren’t working or that are creating the chaos. And I’d suggest seeing if you can also list some things that are going well to try to create some balance. Your boss is after you to work harder (i.e., more hours), but your spouse is being supportive about late nights at the office. Your commute has gotten worse because of increased traffic, but your child is getting good grades in school.
  • Breathe. I’m going to quote Bradberry here because he’s so succinct: “When you’re feeling stressed, take a couple of minutes to focus on your breathing. Close the door, put away all other distractions, and just sit in a chair and breathe. The goal is to spend the entire time focused only on your breathing, which will prevent your mind from wandering. Think about how it feels to breathe in and out. This sounds simple, but it’s hard to do for more than a minute or two.”
  • Use your support system. Ask for help. Sharing the burden will give you the possibility of getting some assistance and, equally important, sometimes just talking about a problem can help you find your way through it. Most of us have coworkers, colleagues, friends, and/or family who are willing to listen and who want to help, so figure out who they are and avail yourself of the opportunity!