Do you have trouble remembering things? Are you having trouble sleeping or is your stomach in knots? Are you sleeping too little or too much? All of these can be symptoms of stress. A certain amount of stress is good –or
even necessary– for all of us, but it is easy for it to get out of hand. Here are a few simple tips that can help you deal with stress.
Evaluate the situation. How important is this activity to the overall goals and direction for my life? If it’s not really that important, don’t sweat it.
Be positive. Positive thoughts can generate positive results and negative thoughts, negative results. Even something as simple as changing your perception from, “I have to get the done by Monday,” to ” I am going to get this done by Monday” can make a big difference.
Visualize a successful outcome. Rather than focusing on the pressure of finishing a task, focus on the benefit or reward that will come from completion.
Reward yourself. If the situation or project doesn’t have an intrinsic benefit or reward, create one. “Once I’ve finished painting the bedrooms, I’m going to spend a day relaxing at the beach.”
Change the things that cause you stress. For those stressors that can be changed, do so. If you hate going to the supermarket at peak shopping times, reschedule for quiet periods. If lack of sleep adds to your tension, get to bed earlier.
Strive for excellence, not perfection. Recognize that any number of factors can affect the perfect completion of a job. Strive to make your work the best in can be under the circumstances.
Take care of your health. A fit body responds better to stress.
Have fun. Play as hard as you work. Develop a sense of humour. Don’t take yourself too seriously.
Have a quiet place. Go somewhere that takes you away from the things that cause your stress. Have a peaceful corner at home. Take a walk in a park. Get away from the office at lunch hour and sit on a bench.
Talk to someone. A friend or family member can be a good place to get things of your chest. In more serious situations, perhaps a support group or a counsellor is in order.
When we come to the end of a project or activity, it is common to review the outcomes. It can be very easy to consider these outcomes from a negative perspective, what went wrong rather than what went right. Next time you need to review a project, try looking at its successful outcomes. At the very least, try balancing each negative consideration with a positive.
What went wrong?
What went right?
What are our needs?
What are our strengths?
What did we learn?
What did we learn to do better?
What issues should we put on the agenda?
What issues can be taken off the agenda?
How can we improve?
What strengths could we make more use of?
What’s missing from this group?
What are the assets of this group?
What would you do differently next time?
What would you do the same next time?
What do you want to achieve?
What is your recipe for success, and how will you apply that?
I attended the funeral of a friend yesterday afternoon. She died at the age of 74 after a battle with cancer.
The service was tinged with sadness at the loss of a family member and friend. However, it was also a celebration of a life well lived: a life that left a lasting impression on those who knew her.
In listening to the tributes to her life, and reflecting on the years I’ve known her, three traits signified the quality of her life.
She had a strong spiritual faith. It’s a good place to start. This was the foundation of her life. Everything she did came from her spiritual beliefs. It wasn’t a cloistered faith, practiced for an hour on Sunday, but practiced and lived every moment.
She loved her family. She was one of seven children and had six of her own. It was a big family and she was devoted to them all. When the final throes of of her illness came on, she was down in Ontario visiting with her sisters. One didn’t have to watch the family for too long to realize they were important to her.
She gave to others. This lady had arthritis in her hands. It was the kind of arthritis that made her fingers look like a bird’s claws. Despite that, she spent considerable time knitting clothing that could be donated to others in need. One of the last things she did was go through her store of knitted items and indicate who was to get what.
As I sat listening to the tributes, I wondered what kind of impression I am making with my life. Are my core beliefs and practices important and are they making an impression on those around me?