We all at some stage in life feel a little stressed.

We can all have too much on our plate, feel the pressure of other’s counting on us and the small things can sometimes appear to be a mountain. This is simply a reality of life in today’s busy modern times.

At this time of year in particular businesses have critical deadlines coming with 30 June, students are studying hard for mid-year exams, and farmers are patiently waiting on the rain.

BUT it isn’t whether you suffer from stress or not, it ishow you deal with it.

Below are several scientifically proven strategies for assisting whenever stress strikes – extracted in part from the Harvard Business Review authored by Heidi Grant Halvorson.

1. Self-compassion

Do not be too harsh or critical of yourself when you have made a mistake or error. Learn from it and move on. Easier said than done sometimes, but it is important to try.

2. Remembering the “Bigger Picture”

The item stressing you can be seen as a small part of the bigger picture and the bigger reward. On its own it may not seem so important but the whole end result is worth the effort. People often put in that extra effort to a task that they feel may “help their career” rather than an everyday task they complete a dozen times a day.

3. Create routines

A routine will assist in decision making – which in itself is stressful – and ease stress. (This is apparently why shopping is so exhausting; it is having to make all those decisions!)

4. Take five minutes to do something interesting

Find something that occupies the mind and that you find interesting. Research has indicated that something of interest will replenish and refresh your mind.

5. Add ‘where’ and ‘when’ to your To Do list

Whilst it is great to have a list of activities or tasks to be completed, it is even better to have listed when you are going to complete that activity or task and whereit is going to happen. As a basic example it may be that you are going to ring Joe Bloggs first thing in the morning at your desk.

6. See work in terms of progress, not perfection

When you think in terms of learning and improving and accept that you will make mistakes, this will assist in experiencing less stress. You should stay motivated despite any setback.

One strategy not mentioned above is to concentrate on your ‘happy place’ – a place where you can relax and enjoy life. Think of this happy place whenever you are stressed to help you feel more relaxed. Be careful though; don’t ‘drift away’ whilst you are relaxing!

Try putting some of these strategies to work to assist you with your stress levels and see what you are able to accomplish.


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