Most working people encounter stress. Often, stress is transitory – we have a rough day or even just a rough afternoon, and the next day is fine. Sometimes, when you are on deadline, need to satisfy customers, are behind on projects, the stress can last longer. If you have had a difficulty with a family member, customer, friend, etc., the after-effects might linger and can exacerbate your stress level.
Fortunately, most of us already have a tool box within for dealing with stress. When we are at our highest and best functioning, having access to all of our resources, getting rid of stress can be simple. Just let go, do the work, and tomorrow will be a better day, right? Well, sometimes the lock on the toolbox just doesn’t open for a few days!
Here are some tools I found recently that you can leave laying around (electronically speaking). They won’t rust, and you can pull them out and use them quickly and easily.
Dr. Srini Pillay (MD), Harvard Professor and author of Your Brain and Business: The Neuroscience of Great Leaders, wrote an article this week called What to Do When You Can’t Control Stress. This excellent piece points out that stress is indeed hard to shed under certain circumstances, but the greatest power is in Letting Go, and we can all accomplish this with basic breathing exercises, meditation, etc. How many of us know how to do this, but in fact don’t do it, even when under stress?
I also liked this blog by Paul Hudson, a young writer, philosopher, music producer and DJ living in New York, called 15 Things Emotionally Strong People Don’t Do. Although I generally prefer positively worded, affirmative advice, this piece really hits home on what we do when our moods change under stress. Since one of the key challenges we face under stress is how to reframe things more positively, your challenge in reading this article is to understand the flip side of each of the 15 items. It’s easy and obvious when you read the piece!
The last tool I found this past week was by Henrik Edberg, who writes PositivityBlog.com. I always love Henrik’s point of view. This article is called How to Stop Worrying: 9 Simple Habits. It is absolutely brilliant and succinct in pointing out how we can “do a number” on ourselves inside our own heads, BUT, we don’t have to! He quotes Winston Churchill, who said: “When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened.” Henrik gives very realistic tools on how to restore balance and get back to normal.
You might guess that this article is prompted by the writer having gone through a rough patch of stress in the last few weeks, and you’d be right. With these tools and a little help from my friends, I got by and I found these ideas valuable and important enough to pass them along to you. Good luck!