03 Dec 2013

13 Ways To Conquer Stress

1. Watch or read something funny

Laughter is a huge stress reliever. If you can’t laugh at yourself (the best stress reliever of all), find something else to laugh at and if possible somebody else to laugh at it with.

2. Broaden your perspective

A huge source of stress is the feeling that everything you’re doing and every mistake you make (or might make) is IMPORTANT. In ten years you’ll barely remember whatever is stressing you out.

3. Take joy in small victories

Most of us have ambitious goals that may take years to achieve. While that’s a good thing, you should also celebrate the intermediate milestones that you hit along the way.

4. Let go of the past

Carrying the baggage of past mistakes is incredibly stressful. Rather than worry about history repeating itself, consider once you’ve failed, you’re more likely to succeed.

5. Catch up with non-work friends

If you spend too much time around the people you work with, you end up talking about work all the time, which can add to your stress.

6. Create a relaxing soundtrack

Movies have soundtracks because music elevates and intensifies your emotions. If you want less, creating a mellow soundtrack for the movie of your life, and listen to it on headphones while you’re working.

7. Cultivate a tactile hobby

If your work is primarily intellectual, find a hobby that requires you to work with your hands.

8. Get a therapeutic massage

A massage releases muscle tension, which is how your body stores stress.

9. Bundle small tasks into a single effort

How you perceive your workload determines how stressful it seems. Make work less burdensome by combining minor to-do items into one project or effort. Example: “Make calls” rather than “Call John, Call Sam, etc.”

10. Break a huge task into smaller steps

Conversely, if a single task seems overwhelming, break it up into sub-tasks and take them on one by one.

11. Limit your information intake

A good way to think about information is that it’s like water, you need it survive but if there’s too much of it, you can drown.

12. Don’t work weekends and evenings

Occasionally you may need to do an all-nighter or a weekend slog. Making a habit of it, though, is begging to be stressed out. You need time to regenerate your batteries. Take it.

13. Breathe deeply

When you take short breaths, it tells your body to be stressed. When you take long deep breaths, it tells your body to relax. Do this consciously for a while and it will eventually become automatic.