5 Tips to Reduce or Eliminate Stress
Has anyone ever calmed down by someone saying, "honestly, calm down!" or the ever-helpful, "don't worry"? I would venture to say that without strategies for stress management no amount of encouragement to relax makes an impact on a persona's stress level. So, here are 5 tips to help you manage your stress, calm down and stop worrying... or at least effectively manage your emotions!
1. Limit Distractions & Eliminate Interruptions
- Pretend you are inside “The Cone of Silence”: put a sign on your door “I’ll be available at 2:00 PM.”
- Switch off all electronics alerts & notifications
- Avoid multitasking – (there’s no such thing!) Our brain cannot “do two things at once” it actually switches attention back and forth between two tasks. You’ll make fewer mistakes and take half the time to complete the task.
2. Recharge Your Batteries
- Your brain is powered by “rechargeable batteries”. Recharge by using a different part of your brain for a few minutes. Schedule time and set an alarm so you can do a mindless physical activity for 5 minutes such as walking, socializing or… playing Tetris.
3. Get Everything Out of Your Head
- David Allen, author of “Getting Things Done” said “Our brain is not designed to hold ideas, it is designed to have ideas.” Holding all of your thoughts and problems in your brain takes up space you need in order to have new ideas & recognize solutions when they present themselves.
- Use a mind map program on your computer, post it notes, a white board or a pencil and paper.
4. Prioritize Prioritizing
- Indecision causes its own type of stress. Often we don’t really have an indecision problem, we have a sequence problem. Feeling indecisive? Ask yourself, “Can I do that now?” If not, what needs to happen in order for that to happen?
5. Stop Stress From Spreading
- Emotions are actually contagious from brain to brain and from person to person. Mirror neurons in our brain act like antennae and readily pick up emotions such as frustration, anger, irritability ... and stress. To make matters worse, when we are under stress, we are more likely to misinterpret the emotions of others (usually toward the negative). The bottom line is: when there is an undercurrent of stress from another person it is felt, it is distracting and it limits creativity & erodes trust.
Engage a coach or mentor to learn to effectively manage your emotions and strengthen your social and emotional intelligence “muscle”; you will be a much less stressed person both at work and in all of your relationships.