3 Tips to manage stress
Respond better to Stress
Suppose we worked together and our boss spoke to us harshly. You may remain calm; and his interaction may cause me to feel stressed. How is it two people can hear him differently? It is because an individual who handles stress well understand that what makes us stressed out is how we perceive the stressor. Perhaps you reframe what the boss said afterward ‘Sounds like he is having a hard day’. However; I may have personalised his interaction as being about me. ‘He is not happy with me; maybe my job is under threat’. Here, I have lost perspective of a simple interaction and now may feel that my job is under threat, I may be unable to pay my mortgage and that I may lose my home. This is called ‘Catastrophic thinking’ and we need to become more self-aware of negative thinking patterns.
Better ways to respond
Perhaps, if I had taken a step back, and taken deep breaths; I may have given myself time to respond better.
We have a choice in how we respond
Choose carefully: Do I want to focus on choosing my attitude carefully and reframing what has actually happened. ‘The boss is not in good form today; that is about him; that is not about me’.
Taking time to breathe allows us to be proactive; instead of being reactive and responding poorly and not assessing the situation properly.
Self-Awareness is key to managing stress
Catching myself personalising my boss’s comment and saying ‘How is it I am hearing what he is saying as being about me? This is about him, this is for him, and this is not for me’. Stress resilient people know they have a choice in choosing how they respond and choosing their attitude. Do I want to be unhappy and catastrophize or choose to be happy?
3 Tips to Manage Stress
- Choose your Response – In the moment of stress, remember it is not what happens to you, it is more about how you respond to what has happened. When you change the way you look at things; the things you look at change.
- Exercise – it helps you keep perspective of what has really happened, it gives you time to assess the situation from a distance and see what has really happened
- Keep a Gratitude Journal – taking a moment or two to write down 3 things that went well today, develops the habit of ‘Glass half full’ not ‘Glass half empty’. Time and time again, it is proven that counting your blessings actually makes you happier. Do it for 21 days and it is scientifically proven, you WILL be happier!
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