Top Stress Management Techniques You Can Apply NOW
Gail Kasper, Author, Television Host
It seems that life just doesn’t get easier and we can never catch a break. Every day we run into so much that needs our attention, yet there’s not enough time in a day to complete everything. Watching ourselves fall further and further behind as the weeks pass, we feel plagued by mounting stress. Discouraged, we turn to our family, friends, or jobs for relief, far too often only to experience even greater levels of stress from work and from the very people who mean the most to us. As all of these stresses pile up, we feel crushed by their collective weight.
What’s a person to do???
First, take a deep breath. I’m here to assure you that you have the ability to manage stress that results from the demands of life. Like you, I experience stress daily. However, over the years I’ve learned how to manage stress and keep it from weighing me down. Stress won’t magically disappear, but it will lose its power over you once you learn how to get it under control through these steps, which you can start to apply today:
1. Prioritize your tasks. Every morning, make a list of tasks you want to complete that day. Keep it reasonable; too many or too few tasks will make you feel uneasy. Order your list according to importance – which items must get done today? Focus on your top five or so priorities.
2. Check off completed tasks. Keep your list handy and throughout the day, check off items you complete. Doing so will give you a sense of accomplishment, which in turn will give you a boost of stress-beating energy.
3. It’s ok to leave some tasks for the next day. Reaching a goal is a process that can easily take more than a day. If you don’t complete all your tasks for the day, don’t sweat it – you can begin anew the following morning.
4. Set boundaries for yourself. In my autobiography Another Day Without A Cage: My Breakthrough From Self-Imprisonment To Total Empowerment, I recount how as a young person, I felt I had to be all things to all people, and this was extremely stressful. Once I learned to set boundaries for myself, much of the stress I felt disappeared. Setting boundaries means taking control and deciding what’s important to you instead of letting others make this decision for you. It’s very freeing to reclaim this kind of power.
5. Be real with yourself and with others. Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not. This only causes great stress and conflict. Be real – say what you mean, do what’s important to you, and most importantly, don’t deceive yourself.
6. Ask for help. Talk to people who can help you with your daily tasks. Is there a mentor who can guide you? An assistant who can take some of your workload? A life coach who can teach you important skills? Don’t feel you have to do everything alone. Getting qualified help can help you manage stress.
7. Be present. At this particular moment, there is only one requirement of you – that you be fully present. This means being engaged in what you’re doing, not worrying about the future or ruminating over the past. By being in the here and now, you will get more accomplished, and you’ll feel more empowered. Stress won’t stand a chance when you’re operating from a place of total empowerment!
Please visit Gail Kasper and her Top 1% as well as her excellent book Another Day Without A Cage: My Breakthrough From Self-Imprisonment To Total Empowerment and the self-help parable Unstoppable: 6 Easy Steps To Achieve Your Goals.