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March 28, 2016

Take Action to Manage Stress

 For fast-acting relief, try slowing down.  Lily Tomlin

Everyone reacts to stress differently; what motivates one person sends another into a panic. Some stress is normal and helps keep you going. This is called eustress. Negative stress, on the other hand, is distressing to your body, mind, spirit, and relationships. If you ask most people about stress, they will probably say they have too much of the negative kind! Here are some signs of negative stress or distress:shutterstock_115814104

  • Frequent stomach upsets
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Feeling tired all the time
  • Feeling burned out at work
  • Having a “short fuse”
  • Grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw

Do any of these ring a bell? If so, here are some quick fixes for stress relief on the job.

  • Take a walk outside. Fresh air and sunshine are just what the doctor ordered. Getting your body into motion releases chemicals that can raise your mood and reduce your stress.
  • Drink lots of water. Frequent hydration keeps your body in top shape and helps flush the negative chemicals released by negative stress.
  • Re-evaluate your priorities. Eliminate anything that doesn’t have to be done today and focus on what you can accomplish. Don’t beat yourself up about what cannot be done.
  • Stop multi-tasking. Multi-tasking is stressful. Your attention jumps back and forth from one task to another. This constant switching causes tension. The result is feelings of distress. Not only does multi-tasking stress you out, you spend more time getting the tasks done than if you do them sequentially.
  • Take a time out. Sit back and think about something that matters to you—your family, friends, pets, an upcoming trip to Paris, a golf game on the weekend, and so on. Taking your mind off work and putting it on something or someone important and pleasurable is taking a mini-vacation without leaving your cubicle!

Don’t let stress beat you down! When you experience the signs of stress, immediately implement one of these tips for relief. If you suffer from prolonged stress, you should see a health care professional who can give you additional remedies. For more stress relief, see my blog posts Is it Distress or Eustress? and  Stress Busters.

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