7 Simple Steps to Banish Stress From Your Life Forever
We all face stress, and it's what we do when we're stessed that defines the outcome.
While some let themselves get overwhelmed and shut down, others use stress to motivate and push them to greater heights. Without the proper stress management tools, it's easy to give in and find ourselves overcome by stress. By following these seven steps, you can banish stress from your life--once and for all.
1. Look at the big picture .
While you may be coming uncomfortably close to a deadline, your lack of progress is not your wife's or your children's faults, and probably not your coworkers' or employees' either. It's very important to remember what's most important in your life, and to be aware when you're blaming others for your problems and then taking it out on those closest to you. Sometimes we get so stressed that we blow up, which just causes more stress and drama in our lives.Try to keep things in proportion and you will see your stress level diminish daily.
Being active is healthy for the body and the mind. When you're feeling stressed, take a quick break and go for a walk outside your office. This short interruption will give you a fresh perspective while removing immediate sources of stress. And as an added benefit, the endorphins released in your brain from the physical activity will make you feel better and at peace.
3. Eat healthy.
Sugar crashes are a real thing, and with sugar hiding out in most every kind of processed food, it's extremely important to be aware of what you put in your body. Start out your mornings with a big, healthy breakfast--something along the lines of eggs and vegetables--and be sure to take breaks for lunch no matter how busy your day is. Keeping your brain fueled with healthy foods helps to keep stress from creeping up on you.
4. Keep track of progress.
Write down how much you've accomplished on a project. Keep track of your average progress and make a goal for when you can and will complete it. Through this process, you can truly see how much is left to be done and plan accordingly instead of feeling overwhelmed inside because you aren't sure how much is left to accomplish.
5. Stay organized.
Disorganization in any form causes the brain to feel stressed. Organize your work, your surroundings, and your activities in a way that gives you the most breathing room. If you are sitting in a room of clutter, your brain won't be able to focus on the task at hand. The more organized you are, the better you feel subconsciously. If you are feeling disorganized, spend 10 minutes a day on organizing different areas of your office and the work itself, and set a schedule for yourself.
6. Remain positive.
Don't let yourself hang onto negative thoughts that you won't accomplish whatever it is that you need to to do. Tell yourself that you can and will finish on time, get organized, and get healthy. Make a goal, write it down, and hold yourself accountable.
7. Make time for fun.
The old saying is work hard, play hard, but if you're focused on only work and set aside no time for fun, you will get stressed and burned out. Be happy, and spread some of that happiness around. Plan non-working vacations, get-togethers with your employees outside of your office, and fun-filled activities for everyone to participate in within your office.
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While Peter Economy has spent the better part of two decades of his life slugging it out mano a mano in the management trenches, he is also the best-selling author of Managing for Dummies, The Management Bible, Leading Through Uncertainty, and more than 75 other books, with total sales in excess of two million copies. He has also served as associate editor for Leader to Leader for more than 10 years, where he has worked on projects with the likes of Jim Collins, Frances Hesselbein, Marshall Goldsmith, and many other top management and leadership thinkers. Sign up here to always stay up to date with Peter's latest Inc.com columns, and visit him anytime at petereconomy.com.