Several major projects or events happening at the same time can cause a great deal of stress; so learn to plan ahead and space events and activities to allow yourself breathing room.
Taking a good time management seminar—and then practicing what you learn—can help prevent stress. Keep a daily "Top 10" list of the things you need to do, in order of priority; then complete each item, in order, before you move on to the next item. That way, your most important tasks will be finished first—and if you don't finish a low priority job, it can be carried over to your list for the next day.
Taking action is important; but taking appropriate action is more important. Obtain and use the right tools. Make sure you're dealing with root problems and not just symptoms of problems. Don't wait to be motivated; take a first step. Action can lead to motivation.
Ask yourself, "Tomorrow, will this really matter? In a month, will this really matter?" If the answer is "yes," take appropriate action. If the answer is "no," why are you getting stressed about it?
Whenever there's a major change in your life, it can seem threatening; but try to turn things around and look for opportunities the new situation might create for you.
Goal setting can be helpful in managing stress; but always remember to make your goals both challenging and realistic. If they're not challenging, you don't feel a sense of accomplishment when you complete them. On the other hand, unrealistic goals can never be met and will lead to a sense of failure and low self esteem. Be goal oriented, but not goal dominated.
You can channel the energy from the stress response into positive activities like hobbies, home or office projects, or exercise. Staying active will reduce the effects of stress, and you'll have fun doing it!
In other words, be active . Work off that stress, and build resistance at the same time. Do things that are fun and that you're willing to do for the rest of your life. Try to get at least 20 to 30 minutes of physical activity a day, at least 5 or 6 days a week. Be more active every day: take stairs instead of elevators; walk to the corner store; walk your dog; or take a walk with your family.
The stress response can trigger hunger; and many people turn to food or alcohol as methods of coping with stress. That can lead to weight or alcohol problems. When you're under stress, it's important to keep your body and its immune system strong. So eat regular, healthy meals and follow the dietary guidelines recommended on this site.
Strong values help you to cope with stress. Think about what's really important to you, and develop a foundation of values and purpose in life.
It really does help to talk to someone. Build a network of supportive family and friends. If you don't feel comfortable talking to anyone close to you, talk to a counselor.
Being a good listener is one of life's important skills; it helps prevent misunderstanding and helps build friendships. Poor communication is a major cause of stress, so learn how to talk, write, and listen effectively.
Remember, stress is often called the "fight or flight response." It's probably not a good idea to flee from problems; but it is often a good idea to take a break. Research shows that people who take regular breaks and vacations are more productive than those who work straight through without breaks.
A good night's sleep is important for managing stress. Try to relax before sleeping to improve the quality of your sleep.
Relaxation doesn't come naturally, especially when you're under stress. Tension is part of the body's natural response to stress. You can significantly reduce the impact of stress by learning relaxation skills such as progressive muscle relaxation, meditation, massage, mental imagery, deep breathing, or certain types of yoga.
Yesterday's solutions probably won't solve the problems of tomorrow. We need to be creative—to try new ways of solving problems. There is creativity within all of us. Bring out your creativity by experimenting, asking lots of questions, and playing around with ideas.
Laughter may not be the "best" medicine, but it is a real tool for reducing stress and having a better quality of life. Laugh with people, not at them.
When you were children, you played and had fun. Those are important traits for life; don't lose them. Put fun back in your life!