5 Ways You Can Manage Stress

by ryan




5 Ways You Can Manage Stress

 

Stress management is something every single one of us needs to learn. We live in a fast-paced world. The technology that we have at our fingertips today has created a culture of instant results and instant gratification. If something is not done now, then we feel the pinch. As a result, we experience stress! And a lot of it.

Let me share a story with you…




Sometimes my full-time job as a school administrator can be very stressful, as you might imagine. Each night before I go to bed, I plan the following day. My plan – of course – was to get up early, exercise, read my scriptures, read 30 minutes of a self-improvement book, and practice visualization/mediation. All of this, I planned, was to be completed before I even went work.

Did it happen? Of course not! Just like every other human being on the planet, my well-intentioned plan was robbed by the same thief that steals our planned routines. Can you guess what it was?

SLEEP!

In my previous posts, I write a lot about not blaming and personal accountability. But, if I may in this post, I am going to blame my stress induced day on our human desire to sleep. That’s right, curse you, Sleep! Because of you, I got up late already feeling bad because I didn’t get accomplished what I planned.

When I got to school, it seemed that I was overrun with teachers, parents, and students demanding my time. The phone rang off the hook! Curse you Sleep! Because you kept me from getting up and working out, my day was full of stress. Well, guess what, Sleep? I am not going to let you rob me of my routine tomorrow!

All right, I know. I need to take personal responsibility for my stress filled day. It wasn’t Sleep that deprived me of practicing my stress management routines. No. It was me.

So, what’s my point for telling that story to you? My point is, that we all have strategies or things we do to manage our stress. For me, here is a list of 5 things that I practice for Stress Management…

Stress Management Tip #1 – Get Your A** Out of Bed

We’ve all heard Benjamin Franklin’s famous phrase…

Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.

This proverb is so true. I’m like all of you out there. I love to sleep in. But have you ever noticed that sleeping in too long saps your energy and excitement for life? I have. The days I sleep in too late are the days that I experience the most stress. The days that I go to bed early and get up early are the days that I experience less stress and more energy.

Now, you may be an earlier riser. Great if you are. This tip is mostly for me. I need to get my a** out of bed a lot of days.

Stress Management Tip #2 – Exercise

We all know that exercise releases endorphins (the good feeling hormones) into our systems, thus creating a feeling of calm and happiness. Exercise has been proven to reduce stress.

Stress management

If you don’t have time to exercise, go for a brisk walk during your lunch time. Whatever it is, do at least 30 minutes per day. I challenge you, if you do, you will see a dramatic decrease in your stress levels.

Stress Management Tip #3 – Work on a Hobby or Do Something You Love Each Day

We all have activities we enjoy. For some, exercise may be a hobby. For others, painting. Whatever activity you enjoy, do it for at least an hour each day. For me, I have discovered that writing is something that eases my stress. I love to write fiction and have recently discovered the joy of blogging. Writing and blogging is therapy for me, especially when I have had a stressful day. Heck, it’s even a great way to make money from home.

Stress Management Tip #4 – Pray or Meditate

For my religious readers out there, prayer is a great practice for stress management. Why? Research has shown that people who practice prayer on a regular basis suffer less from depression and have lower suicide rates. If you are not a religious person, meditation practices have been shown to lower stress levels in the body.

In my case, I practice both. I believe prayer brings me closer to God, and mediation quiets my mind and calms my nerves.

Stress Management Tip #5 – Learn How to Say “NO”

By nature, I am a people-pleaser. So when someone asks me for a favor, my initial response is to say “yes.” Unfortunately, saying “yes” too much can cause stress.

For example, I recently signed my son up for baseball. I played baseball and was pretty good. Knowing this, the leader of the youth baseball organization asked me if I could coach. Of course, my first instinct was to say “yes.” But with everything I had going on with starting my home business on top of my full-time job, I knew that I couldn’t afford the undue stress. So, rather than give a definite answer at that time, I spoke with my son. He was okay with me not coaching as long as I attended all of his games, which I gladly said I would. With my son’s blessing, I was able to say “No.”

Saying “No” is a great stress management strategy.

In summary, just remember that stress is unavoidable. It’s how we manage it that matters. In fact, some stress is good. It motivates us and puts pressure on us when we need to accomplish things.

Just don’t let it control you.




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