As Australian television personality Andrew Denton has noted – “PRESSURE AND STRESS IS THE COMMON COLD OF THE PSYCHE.” Stress is a fact of life and a certain amount of stress, unlike the common cold, can even be good for you – but too many stressful incidents can prevent you from reaching your full potential. There is no magic wand to wave away stress – it takes a determined effort to control your lifestyle to prevent stress overload.
However, the basics of alleviating stress are easy to arrange and practice – it’s not rocket science – it just takes time and more than a little effort. First, plan ahead – be organized and prepared. There are close-at-hand weapons available to you in your battle against stress – a pencil and a piece of note paper. Many times stress is energized because we allow a tidal wave of different and conflicting thoughts to flood our mind making us believe the assignments ahead are too overpowering.
Prepare for tomorrow the night before. Take the time to sit down with a pencil and paper and list all the assignments you feel are important to complete the next day. When all the tomorrow tasks are listed, redo and list each item in order of importance. Finally, mark the time you think it would take to complete each task – review the total time and when you reach the time limit you feel comfortable with, draw a line across the page – that’s tomorrow’s schedule.
One other important item when completing the final schedule – it’s vital that your allow time for relaxing, exercising and to eat a healthy meal – three more important weapons in alleviating stress.
“IN TIMES OF GREAT STRESS OR ADVERSITY, IT’S ALWAYS BEST TO KEEP BUSY, TO PLOW YOUR ANGER AND YOUR ENERGY INTO SOMETHING POSITIVE” – Lee Iacocca
Something positive – great advice – but again, not easy. Maintaining a positive attitude also takes a great deal of work and commitment, but by following two basic fundamentals of positive thinking, you can detour your life into a new affirmative direction that will lower the stress level no matter what the situation and, as a bonus, make you a happier, more contented individual.
First and foremost – stop all the negative talk. Start today – every time you utter a negative thought, repeat what you said and change the negative into a positive. Make a game of it. Tell those you trust how you are trying to change your lifestyle and have them yell out “negative” every time you utter a negative thought. If they catch you on such a miscue – you have to give them a dime or some such reward. Repetition is the key to changing negative thoughts into positive thoughts.
Come up with your own personal mantra you can silently repeat to yourself to constantly remind you of your new positive, less stressful lifestyle – the word “POSITIVE” is a good one to start with. Secondly, stay away from those who view life pessimistically. Those who are unenthusiastic about life can drag you down faster than a freighter’s anchor – join the people who make you happy – better yet – be around people who you can talk to about your feelings. One more basic fundamental – find the humor in it – take time to laugh loud and often – it’s the best medicine for alleviating stress. Again from Lee Iacocca –
“STRESS IS WHEN YOU WAKE UP SCREAMING AND YOU REALIZE YOU HAVEN’T FALLEN ASLEEP YET.”