Chapter 10: Implementing a Stress Reduction Plan
Below are some ways to manage stress throughout your life.
Based on research, it is the general consensus that the best way to manage stress is to deal with it the moment that you feel it coming on. Do not put it off until a time when the body would have already activated its stress response.
Seek to create inner balance in your body and realize that positive emotions will create coherent heart rhythms, while on the contrary, negative emotions create erratic, chaotic patterns in the heart beat.
1. Identify the source of your stress –
You can do this by noting on paper the things that pushes you to have negative emotions such as anger, fear, etc. Note also the time of day – whether early morning or closer towards the end of the work day. Next categorize your problems, them based on the list of causes given earlier. It’s a good time to remove the source and seek to find a balance.
2. Check and re-check your to-do list –
You are neither superman nor super woman. Simplify your life, trim the fat off that list and remove things that do not add value or is not directly linked to the outcome of your goals. Delegate responsibility to others where possible.
3. Set your house in order –
By that I mean you must prioritize. Everything cannot be done all at once. Stop multitasking – it gives a false sense that you are making progress when in reality you are not. Assign each task or project a number and start working on them in order of the one that is most life threatening and so on, so forth.
4. Laugh, laugh and laugh –
Why laugh so much? Laughter is a good medicine, and humor can heal a soul that is wounded and stressed. It causes your body to release endorphins that quickly improve your mood.
5. Develop strategies that enable you to think positively –
Being optimistic will enable you to cope much better under stressful conditions. This also include surrounding yourself with positive thinkers, and people who will encourage you to stick with your goals in life.
6. Avoid negative people –
They demand a lot of your energy. Avoiding them is one way of removing stress and getting rid of toxins and lowering stress causing hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline.
7. Embrace spirituality –
spirituality is a sure and effective way of filling your life with inner peace and tranquility, while it gives you a clearer sense of your purpose. It helps you to regulate your pace and gives you a more positive outlook on life
8. Visit your church –
Church is a good place to go. Hearing the word of God brings life and light into your soul and spirit and to gain natural healing in your body. You can also foster and build long lasting relationships with other believers.
9. Take time out to unplug and re-energize yourself –
Social media has its advantages as it helps you build relationships and friendships but it is not worth dying for.
10. Lower your expectations –
Give yourself permission to lower your standard of expectation of always getting a perfect score for everything you do. Very quickly, you will rid yourself of the perfectionist in your head that’s been refusing to get a less-than a perfect 10 score.
11. Turn off the light and sleep –
Your body functions at an optimal level when you get the required number of hours sleep. The fewer hours of sleep your body get, the more of the stress hormone cortisol it produces
12. Avoid chemical stimulants and sugar –
The more stressed you get the more of these (coffee, coke, sweet muffins, doughnuts) your body will crave but the catch is – the more your body crave them, the more stressed you become.
13. Set aside time for family bonding –
You need people who love, support and care for you in emotional and stressful times and when times are tough. Sharing what you are going through is a way of releasing stress.
Empowerment Moments Blog by Yvonne I. Wilson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.