Ours is a fast-paced society and intense work environment. You can’t keep up with your emails, voice messages, or meeting requests. Your boss’s moods are erratic and you’re having some tension with teammates. The deadline for the project you’re working on is ridiculous.
You want to run off to a Caribbean island, but you can’t. You’ve got to be practical. You’ve got to learn how to stay calm in the face of stress.
Good news: It’s not as hard as you might think. In fact, you’ve probably done all of these things before, but it’s time for a “calming” primer.
Prioritize. Not everything has to be answered or done right this minute. Fight your instincts and remember that many things can wait.
Put things in perspective. If something does slip through the cracks, is it really the end of the world? Look at the big picture.
Go with the flow. Things can change on a dime. Learn to be flexible; rigidity adds to our stress.
Don’t overreact. See above. Avoid the knee-jerk reaction. Step back, give it some thought, and don’t speak out in anger or frustration.
Exercise. Work that stress right out of your system.
Breathe. Take a deep breath in, breathe out slowly, and regroup.
Sleep. Make sure you’re getting the seven to nine hours a night recommended for adults by sleep experts. Not getting enough sleep has become something we tend to “brag” out – we’re all so busy! – but it’s adding hugely to our stress levels.
Cut back on caffeine. A cup or two can be fine, but if you’re anywhere close to 500 mg/day (roughly five cups), cut back. Way back. Or give it up altogether. People say the initial headaches are worth it. They feel far calmer, caffeine-free.
Stop the negative self-talk. We all tend to be so critical of ourselves. Our “inner voice” can be a mean and chastising brute. Quiet it down; focus on things you do well or that have gone well. There; you’re calmer already.
Be grateful. It might sound corny, but studies prove that practicing gratitude actually does increase our happiness, and adds to our sense of calm and wellbeing.
Stress causes health problems, accidents, and a lower quality of life. You deserve better than that. You can combat stress and stay cool, calm and collected.