This is the third part of a three part series on reducing stress in today's hectic world. The first part covered the topics about the need to embrace change, be open to learning, getting back in control, focusing on the important and finding joy in one's work. The second part outlined a further five strategies about accepting the givens, taking time to exercise, breaking away mentally, finding one's quiet spot and connecting with ones spirit. Today we deal with the final five strategies that will enable you to reduce stress today.
Change Your Thinking: Do you see your cup half full or half empty? Individuals who approach life from a positive perspective live with less stress. The Mayo Clinic points out that those who have more positive thoughts than negative thoughts approach life optimistically; and, when we live with an optimistic frame of mind we reap the benefits of improved health and are in a better position to cope with negative stress. We can change our negative thought processes to positive ones by: 1) replacing them with positive self-talk; and 2) surrounding ourselves with positive friends and associates. Positive people encourage us to remain optimistic and that in turn helps us reduce stress. Approaching life optimistically and surrounding yourself with positive influences reduce stress.
Eat, Pray and Relax
Reach Out to Others: This three part series on reducing stress today outlines some of the effects of positive and negative stress on our body, mind and emotions.It also identifies a number of strategies to reduce negative stress. But can negative stress really be positive? Is there a different approach to how we view positive and negative stress? Recent research indicates that negative stress may have a positive outcome. This turns our present thinking about negative stress upside down. It suggests that stress may only be bad for us if we believe that to be the case. Is this another way of saying that people who think optimistically have less stress than those that don’t? Listen to this TED Talk wherein Psychologist Kelly McGonigal urges us to view negative stress as a positive and introduces us to another strategy for stress reduction: reaching out to others. Reaching out to others reduces stress.(Thanks to Dr.Treena Swantson, for alerting me to Kelly McGonigal's presentation).
What to do: If you feel stressed out as you go through your day-to-day activities review the fifteen strategies incorporated in this three part series and pick one strategy to begin working towards a less stressful life. Working on one strategy which reduces stress is better than nurturing anxiety that just leads to more stress. If you have a stress reducing strategy that works for you, let me know in the comments below.
From the archives Fontanie Learning Solutions
Image: A quiet spot in my backyard.