Marilynn Allemann, an executive and life coach provides these helpful tips for managing stress:
- Don’t minimize your problems. Become aware of what your stressors are and your emotional and physical reaction to those stressors. Don’t ignore them.
- Recognize what you can change. Can you change your stressors by avoiding or eliminating them completely? Can you reduce their intensity by managing them over a period of time instead of on a daily or weekly basis?
- Reduce the intensity of your emotional reactions to stress. The stress reaction is triggered by your perception of physical and emotional danger. Are you viewing your stressor in an exaggerated way? Work at adopting more moderate views and try to see the stress as something you can cope with rather than something that overpowers you. Put the situation in perspective.
- Learn to moderate your physical reaction to stress and build your physical reserves. Brisk exercise is an amazing way of lowering your stress symptoms. Getting enough sleep on a consistent basis will also help reduce your overreaction to stressful situations. Relaxation techniques can reduce muscle tension, for example, slow, deep breathing will help to bring your heart rate down and respiration back to normal.
- Plan something rewarding for the end of your stressful day. It doesn’t have to be big; it could be a relaxing bath or half an hour with a good book. Put aside work, housekeeping or family concerns for a brief period before bedtime and allow yourself to fully relax. Don’t spend this time planning tomorrow’s schedule or doing chores you didn’t get around to during the day. Remember that you need time to recharge and energize yourself. You’ll be much better prepared to face another stressful day.