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The busy person's guide to reducing stress: 5 things that will help
Posted by Wendy Wilson | Learning & Development Consultant on 22 November 2018
The silly season is fast approaching so it's a great time of year to discover (or rediscover) some small things you can do to drop your stress levels.
What can be done if you don't have much time? Here are a couple of actions that take only a few minutes and some shifts in mindset that won't solve severe stress problems but they wil help most of us.
Be completely in one task:
Instead of being in the stressful task-switching mode, take your next task, let everything else go, and just be in the moment with this one task. Let yourself be immersed in this one task, letting go of the feeling that you need to quickly rush through it, that you need to get on to the next task. There will always be a next task - the nature of task lists is that they're neverending. So let those other tasks come later. Just be in this one task, like it's your entire universe.
See your ideals and let go of control:
Fear causes stress, not external factors like your job or family problems. Those external things are just a part of life, but they become stressful when you fear failure, fear people won't like you, fear you're not good enough, fear abandonement, and so on. This fear is based on some ideal (and you fear not getting that ideal): you have an image that you're going to succeed, be perfect, have people like you, be comfortable all the time. These ideals are a way to be in control of the world that you don't actually control, but they're hurting you by causing fear and stress. Instead, let go of control. Be OK with chaos and uncertainty, and trust that things will work out. You'll fear less and be less stressed.
Accept people and smile:
We get upset at other people because they don't meet our ideals of how they should act. Instead, try accepting them for who they are, and recognizing that, like you, they're imperfect and seeking happiness and struggling with finding happiness. They're doing their best. Accept them, smile and enjoy your time with this person.
Take a brief walk:When things are getting stressful, take 2-3 minutes to take a walk and clear your mind. A short walk does wonders.
Do short mindfulness practices:
You don't have to meditate for 30 minutes to get the benefits of mindfulness. You can do a quick body scan (see how your body is feeling right now) in 10 seconds. You can pay attention to your breath for 30 seconds. You can watch your thoughts, fears, ideals for a minute.. You can walk mindfully, paying attention to your body, your feet, your breath, your surroundings, as you walk. You can do each of these kinds of mindfulness practices in little bits throughout your day.
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