As Americans, we are always going, going, going and then going some more! What is the result? Stress, pure and simple. However, before you block out an hour of your day to meditate, consider the 3 steps to control stress.
1. Take Notice
Have you noticed that you clench your fists when sitting at a red light waiting for the color to chance to green? If so, you aren’t alone. In fact, 70% of Americans say they feel stress or some kind of anxiety every day/ Sometimes noticing that you are “stressed” is all you need to start controlling it.
Write a List
If you really feel things are spiraling out of control, try writing a list to prioritize “to do’s” every day. Writing things down and checking them off as they are completed will help you stay focused and even boost your morale with things are “marked off” the list when completed!
Writing in a journal before bed is also an effective way to handle the stressors in life. When you write something down, acknowledging it in a visual way that has been bothering you or that needs to be addressed the following day, they become much more “manageable”. Moving stressors to paper symbolically “removes” them from your mind, so you have a better chance to get a good night’s rest. After all, who hasn’t prescribed to the sound of advice of “sleep on it, things always look better in the morning”!
2. Redirect Anxiety
Once you notice you are stressed and have noted what you are stressed about, it’s time to redirect your energy so you can gain control. The important thing to note is you do not have to set aside an hour meditation to achieve this coping mechanism. You can redirect anxiety with simple actions incorporated throughout the day.
Try these for to relieve stress in a pinch:
- Chew gum – studies show it promotes blood flow to the brain, essentially “clearing your head”
- Take a Time Out – walk away from the computer screen or immediate area when you feel stressed
- Relax your muscles – stretch (especially the calves and neck) or intentionally flex/relax specific muscle groups
- Light a candle – choose a calming scent such as lavender, rose, bergamot, Roman chamomile, frankincense, sandalwood, orange or orange blossom; the calming glow and flicker is also a stress reliever
3. Take Action
Quick fixes are great, but to really control stress, actions must be taken to adopt a healthier lifestyle:
- Reduce Caffeine intake to no more than 400 mg per day
- Exercise daily, even if it’s a simple 5-minute stroll
- Laugh MORE
- Live in the Moment by taking a deep breath and just “be” for a minute or two
- Say “No”, be selective and assess if you have the time/energy to take on a new project/responsibility
Some stressors are out of our control (e.g. illness, depression, PTSD, being a victim of a crime). For these types of situations, I recommend seeking professional help/support.
However, the day-to-day stress of our busy, busy lives are usually under our control. So, don’t sabotage your happiness, follow these three steps to control stress, to take control of life and live each day to the fullest!
Practice Controlling Stress with Fun Team Building
Fun Team Building with Larry Lipman can help your organization get back on track and focus on what is important in life and as a cohesive team. Address the physical, social/emotional, mental and spiritual aspects of your team through a fun interactive agenda customized for your organization. Call Larry today at 770-333-3303 for your free 15-minute consultation.