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First Aid For Stress

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There are ten specific ways to manage and cope with stress. These suggestions will not cure all stress-related problems, but they will help manage stress in a more positive way. Most problems resulting from stress can be prevented.

1. Monitor your stress patterns. Begin keeping a journal. Record stressful events and your responses to them. See if some patterns are more stressful than others. Change the things in your life that are possible to change.

2. Work on your attitude. Focus on positive thoughts. If you make a mistake, do what you can about it, forgive yourself and move on. Remind yourself that historically, all tough times have been temporary. At times, you may have to divert yourself from thinking negative thoughts. Try doing something for a person who needs your time and energy.

3. Take responsibility for your successes and failures. You should learn as much from your mistakes as you do from your triumphs. Rethink the process that didn’t quite work. Pat yourself on the back for accomplishments. Be patient with yourself as you learn, grow and change. Taking this attitude with yourself and others can have a major impact on reducing your stress.

4. Balance your work and your personal life. Pay more attention to your personal life. Without a balanced life, your stress level will always be too high. You are not your job. Take time out to be with your family and friends.

5. Get support. It is always easier when you don’t have to face things alone. Even good things in your life are better when you can celebrate them with another. Talking with someone you trust, and who cares about you, alleviates a lot of stress and worry. You should never hesitate to seek help from all available sources of support, such as your employee assistance program, self-help groups, friends, religious organizations or professional counseling. The smartest thing you can do is to get help with your small problems before they become big ones.

6. Examine what you think is expected of you. Our society tells us to be perfect, fast, strong and to always say “yes.” In other words, we can’t make mistakes or show weakness. It is not realistic to always do what others ask. Your attitude should be: “I won’t make unreasonable demands of you, if you don’t make unreasonable demands on me.” Know your limitations; accept them and set boundaries.

7. Make large tasks more manageable. When you have a large project to tackle, the stress of facing it can make it seem more difficult than it is. Break it down into smaller tasks, beginning with the easiest parts first. Take a break between tasks. Be sure you have realistic deadlines and ask for help when you need it.

8. Inject some humor into your work life. Take a little time to laugh. Laughter is good for you. It is one of the greatest emotional stress relievers known. Shared humor helps people bond and builds strong teams.

9. Take time for yourself. Take a time-out from a stressful project and do something else. Getting your mind off the problem eases the stress. It allows you time to relax and to let your thought processes refresh themselves. Take a mental break and let your mind wander. You might even accidentally wander into a new, creative idea. Plan regular quiet time to think things through and prioritize your goals.

10. Go with the flow. Resisting change only increases stress. Learning to accept change may be the most important way to maintain balance. It is inevitable that there will be alterations in your job, company or even in your career field. Look for the possibilities instead of the problems. Keeping your mind open and your body in good physical shape will reduce the effects of stress in your life and provide a foundation for success.


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