Ways to Conquer Stress

Advice for eliminating stress from your work and your life.

Take joy in small victories.
Most of us have ambitious goals that may take years to achieve. While that’s a good thing, you should also celebrate the intermediate milestones that you hit along the way.

Hang out with non-work friends.
If you spend too much time around the people you work with, you end up talking about work all the time, which can add to your stress. Spending time with friends who aren’t plugged into your work gives stress a break.

Broaden your perspective.
A huge source of stress is the feeling that everything you’re doing and every mistake you make (or might make) is IMPORTANT. In ten years you’ll barely remember whatever is stressing you out.

Let go of the past.
Carrying the baggage of past mistakes is incredibly stressful. Rather than worry about history repeating itself, consider that every big success is preceded by a string of big failures. Once you’ve failed, you’re more likely to succeed.

Take a walk outside.
Getting a breath of fresh air and stretching your legs gives you perspective.

Watch or read something funny.
Laughter is a huge stress reliever. If you can’t laugh at yourself (the best stress reliever of all), find something else to laugh at and if possible somebody else to laugh at it with.

Bundle small tasks into a single effort.
How you perceive your workload determines how stressful it seems. Make work less burdensome by combining minor to-do items into one project or effort. Example: “Make calls” rather than “Call Joe, Call Jill, etc.”

Break a huge task into smaller steps.
Conversely, if a single task seems overwhelming, break it up into sub-tasks and take them on one by one. Example: Rather than “Launch new website” create a list like “1) Find a model site, 2) Create list of required content, etc.”

Schedule time to concentrate on one task.
This works with either of the previous two methods. Schedule some dedicated time (when you won’t be interrupted) to complete either the bundled task or one step in your list of subtasks.

Limit your information intake.
A good way to think about information is that it’s like water–you need it survive, but if there’s too much of it, you can drown. The Internet is designed to deluge you with information.

Stop squabbling with strangers online.
Getting in heated online arguments over politics, sports and so forth simply creates stress out of absolutely nothing.

Breathe deeply.
When you take short breaths, it tells your body to be stressed. When you take long deep breaths, it tells your body to relax. Do this consciously for a while and it will eventually become automatic.

Find a job that suits you better.
Finally, world’s most common source of stress is a job that isn’t right for you. If you hate your job, or even if you’re lukewarm about, find a better one. Don’t wait until your stress makes you sick.


from Inc.com