Seven Ways to Avoid Stress
The last few weeks I noticed that “stress” was creeping into my life. I know how it comes on, slowly at first, creeping into my subconscious and increasing slowly. Next thing I know I am carrying that load and it is coloring everything I think and do.
In the middle of being stressed, I realized what was missing. This is big folks! When I added back those things, the stress was reduced right away. Can you guess some of the things that had disappeared? Well, the first two are pretty easy so let’s start there:
1 Eating Right – yep, when I get under pressure, I notice it’s one of the first things to go and never without paying a price. The fuel I put in is an indicator of the performance I will get out. . . so poor fuel in, and I pay the price of not feeling good and not being able to process stress well. Start by making sure you are drinking plenty of water. A few great books by Dr. Joel Fuhrman to get you started.
2. Exercising – this is critical. Not exercising actually has a double impact. First, my body doesn’t move and get the opportunity to release the stress of the day. Second, the exercise can release endorphins and actually help my body combat that stress.
So those were the obvious. What about the “not so obvious”? I noticed my focus was off in the following ways:
3. Gratitude – right in the middle of all that was going on, I realized that I was not focused on being grateful. Gratitude for me is the great equalizer. No matter how rough and tumble things get, being grateful always counter balances it. When I notice all the things I have to be grateful for, my perspective shifts and I am clear what is important. From that place I can handle anything else that comes my way.
4. Priorities – making first things first. In stressful situations, it’s easy to go into firefighting mode. In other words, whatever issue pops up, the temptation to put important things aside and deal with the “fire” is always there. Setting a list of priorities and sticking to it is the best way to navigate the stress. Delegate the “fires” to someone who can handle them if you have that luxury, or prioritize them according to everything on your list and move forward.
5. Being in the Moment – Stress is fed by worrying about the past or projecting what might happen in the future. Living in the moment takes the power away from the past and the future. And besides, it’s the only time you have control of anyway. Make every moment count and enjoy the journey!
6. Connections – Who in your life understands you and cares enough to listen and encourage you? In times of stress, surround yourself with those people. These are not people who are going to fix the situation for you, these are people who let you talk, process and relax. It’s a big deal and if you don’t have these people in your life, be this to others, and soon you will.
7. Self-Honor – find ways to take care of yourself. Eating right and exercising are the first things to do. In addition, a long lunch, a massage or a drive in the country can support you. It doesn’t have to take a long time, it’s just an opportunity to do something special for you and get grounded, because of course, you deserve it.
Now go take on your day! And enjoy every moment!