“Being in control of your life and having realistic expectations about your day-to-day challenges are the keys to stress management, which is perhaps the most important ingredient to living a happy, healthy and rewarding life.” ~ Marilu Henner
Do you find yourself over scheduling events and appointments? Do you fail to communicate with people in a meaningful way because you are simply too busy? Do you feel guilty if you have nothing planned or scheduled and only free time to yourself? Are you constantly multi-tasking? Are you habitually late to everything? If you identified with the above situations, chances are that you are experiencing some signs of self-induced stress. Some people are just so driven that they actually create their own stress. Not only do they create stress for themselves, but for others around them. Many of us have only ourselves to blame for our stress. It is self-induced because we feel compelled to have to “do everything.” Here are some strategies and techniques to eliminate self-induced stress:
- Learn to say, “No”! Continually remind yourself that you are in control. Limit the amount of time you spend with people or events that add stress to your life. Don’t continuously put others needs before your own. You will burn out.
- Learn to Delegate. Can someone else do the job? Some people fail to delegate because they think no one else can do the job as good as they can. This is usually not true. Let go and hand the job over to someone else who can do it for you.
- Learn to Prioritize. If you are overwhelmed with too many activities, consider what is important versus not important. Is this event or activity important? How important is it? Can it wait to a later date? Everything that is urgent isn’t important. Think about if this “urgent” situation can be handled at a later point in time.
Outside of changing your behaviors, you may have to change your thinking. Become a positive thinker and engage in positive thinking each day, throughout the day. Avoid blowing things out of proportion and jumping to conclusions. Eliminate “all or nothing” mentality. Make it a habit to focus on the good. And destroy the ego that insists on being perfect. Perfectionism is self-defeating and stress inducing because you set unnecessary and often unrealistic expectations. There may be a lot of pressures to be and do your best but often times there is what’s called “Good Enough”! Maybe it is about time you develop more healthy thinking patterns and dramatically reduce your stress levels.
Applying action oriented steps and healthy thinking patterns to reduce stress are critical however, you may need to also use helpful coping techniques. Helpful coping techniques include massage therapy, exercise or physical activity, aromatherapy, meditation and yoga. Some people also find journaling, playing or listening to music and visualization to be very therapeutic as well. Finally, making good ole’ connections with other beings can be stress relieving and don’t forget this includes our furry friends.
Dealing with stress is more about changing your lifestyle and attitude about life then it is about applying any one technique. When you are faced with stressors, ask “How can I minimize or eliminate this stressor?” If you can’t eliminate the threat, perhaps you can change your response to the stressor. Through it all, remember, you should be in control.
Author Bio: Alaisha Capers is a certified Life Coach and the owner of Life Works Success Coaching in the Washington, D.C. metro area. She helps clients easily fill in the gap between where they are now and where they want to be. She helps her clients create the life they want because they realize they need a change and are ready to experience results. She offers flexible options for sessions which can be conducted face-to-face, via telephone or Skype. Visit her website and blog Life Coaching, Life Guidance, Development, Self-Improvement, Transition