4 Tips for Handling Stress

Modern life isn't easy. Every moment of every day puts something in your path that can cause stress (if you let it). You can’t make the world leave you alone, but you can change the way you react so that you don’t get so stressed. Here are some tips.

Tip #1: Think positive
You need to be your own, best cheerleader. Your inner monologue should be encouraging, not the voice of despair. Sure, things are tough, but telling yourself that everything is doomed gets your entire body and mind into a cycle of failure that is really hard to break. Studies show that a positive mental attitude can lower blood pressure, improve short-term memory and actually contribute to your chances of success. Let's hear you say, “I can do this!”

Tip #2: Take care of your body
Your mind might be willing, but if your body isn't, you’re going to stress out. Avoid starting out with your body exhausted. That means getting enough sleep, a bit of exercise and a really well-balanced diet.  Get your body humming along and stress will slide right off.

Tip #3: Take time off
Nobody should be working without respite. It is important to have some “me time” even if it’s only a few minutes a day. Find something that you love and make time for it, every day, no matter what. Meditate, do some yoga, run around the block, or take up a hobby that you can chip away at every day. Knowing that you have something enjoyable to look forward to is a very powerful stress reliever!

Tip #4: Get some structure
Our bodies can easily slip into a “fight of flight” mode when we are surprised. This dumps adrenalin into our blood stream, makes our pulse race and our blood pressure skyrocket. These micro-panics are very hard on our bodies, and can sap our strength, leaving us exhausted. Plus, our brains are very distracted when this happens, leaving us precious little thinking power left over for actually solving the problem at hand. So try to spend a little time at the start of every day thinking through what is in store for the day. A little bit of mental preparation can reduce those “roller coaster” days that leave us so drained.

Don’t forget that you are the master of your day. One of the most powerful phrases we have is, “That won’t work for me.” If someone tries to dump their stress into your lap, just uncork that magic phrase. Then stop. Don’t try to explain why it won’t work for you, just look them in the eye. You will be shocked by how effective this tactic can be. A failure to plan on their part does not constitute a crisis on your part.

There is no way to avoid stress in today's busy environment. But by using these tips, you can dramatically reduce the impact that stressful situations can have on your body.

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