Give Stress the Boot

We all have stress in our lives. Regardless of whom we are or what we do, we have stress. I think a lot of our stress triggers are related to the way we live, work, and even the way we relax. Ever been stressed out even though you’re relatively relaxed and bored? I know I have.

Since stress is unavoidable in life, we need to find ways to prevent stressful events and decrease our negative reactions to stress. Here are some of the things that you can do on a regular basis to combat stress. Implement these things into your daily routine just like brushing your teeth or shaving.

Time Management

Good time management skills will allow you to organize your day in such a way that you will afford yourself more time with your family and friends, and ultimately, more time for you. This will also increase your performance and productivity and will help reduce your stress.

Time Management Tips:

o Focusing and concentrating on one task at a time will help you accomplish your tasks faster and save time in the end.

o Delegate tasks to others when you can. You don’t have to do everything yourself.

o Schedule time for yourself. Just like you would schedule an appointment for anything else, schedule an appointment to do something you enjoy, or even just to relax.

o Keep a record of how you spend your time, including work, family, and leisure time. Review your list regularly to see where you need to make adjustments.

o Prioritize your time by rating tasks by importance and urgency. Focus your time to those activities that are important and meaningful to you.

o Manage your commitments by not over- or under- committing. Don’t commit to what is not important to you.

o Overcome procrastination by using a day planner. Break large projects into smaller chunks, and set several short-term goals and deadlines.

Build Healthy Coping Methods

It can be helpful to identify and examine your coping strategies. One way to do this is by journaling. Simply record the stressful incident, your reaction to it, and how you could have reacted better to the situation in a stress journal. Armed with this information, you can work towards transforming unhealthy coping strategies into healthy ones – those that will help you react positively. This will help you to see what you can change or control in your life.


Many common behaviours and lifestyle choices can affect your stress levels. They may not directly cause stress, but they can interfere with the body’s reaction to stress. Try to:

o Maintain a healthy balance between personal, work, and family needs and obligations.

o Remember and focus on your sense of purpose in life.

o Get adequate sleep. Your body uses sleep time to recover from the stresses of the day.

o Eat a balanced diet. A malnourished body cannot defend itself against stress.

o Get enough exercise on a regular basis. Exercise works to cleanse the body of residual toxins that accumulate as a result of stress and adrenalin surges.

o Limit your consumption of caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, sugar and artificial additives.

Social support

Strong social support can also come into play in how stress affects us. Social support is the positive support you get from the people in your live. It is the awareness that you are loved, cared for, respected, and appreciated. Recent research shows a strong connection between strong social support and improved mental and physical health.

Change your Thinking

When a stressful incident triggers negative thoughts, this translates into negative feelings. You may experience fear, guilt, uncertainty, anxiety, depression, anger, and a sense of worthlessness or weakness. These feelings trigger the body’s stress mechanism, the same way it a physical threat does. Managing your negative thoughts and how you react in certain situations can help reduce stress.

o Thought-stopping helps is a method where you catch the negative thought before it has time to trigger the negative emotion and stop it right away.

o Evaluate the validity of your thoughts and disprove unreasonable thoughts. This will keep you from amplifying the negative thought, expecting the worst, and misinterpreting the incident.

o Problem solving helps you recognize all aspects of a stressful episode and identify better methods of dealing with it.

o Effective communication skills help you express your views without making others feel insulted, aggressive, or intimidated. This reduces the stress that comes from unnecessary conflicts and confrontations.

Everyone, young or old, married or single, working or not, experiences stress to some degree. Whether you’re the janitor, the CEO, or the average working parent, stress is one unwelcome visitor you need to boot out of your life.


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