Today, let’s talk about stress, but I do not want to give you a whole lecture about what stress is, why and how we experience it, and what can we do to manage it. That will go in another post, because today, I am feeling more proactive and experimental, so I want to share with you a very effective and simple tip to help you manage stress throughout the week.
So, let’s put this tip into context (in a very frugal way).
We experience stress when we are confronted with a situation that we consider threatening. Quickly, our brain makes some calculations, and If it reaches the conclusion that we do know how to deal with that difficult situation our stress levels will be kept under control, which means that although we will still feel stress, it will not be overwhelming and long-lasting.
This “under-control” response, happens when we are
- Familiar with the situation and have been able to overcome it (or a similar one) in the past, or
- The situation is new, but we believe that we have the necessary means to get through it, or
- We have no personal resources available but we know who has them and can help us to successfully deal with it.
Now, if our calculations are not favorable, or we are uncertain of the outcome (uncertainty is a big stressor and since we do not know what to do or what to expect, we will usually tend to anticipate the worst), our stress levels will increase.
This initial response becomes a problem when we don’t do anything to bring those stress levels back to baseline and allow them to stay high for too long.
Because it affects ourselves as a whole as it modifies the normal balance of chemicals in our body, affecting in this way our body, mind, heart, and behaviors and reducing our ability to function properly. Not paying attention to our stress may bring detrimental consequences for our general well-being.
But I don’t want to be too dramatic, because, the great news is that managing our stress is doable. We just need to become aware of it and follow generally simple actionable steps.
One very important thing to do when under stress is to limit the “element of surprise” as much as possible. For example, if we know that we are going through a stressful period at work, it is very useful to examine what things can be done to make things easier. The tool below is an example of the many strategies that can be done even to achieve that.
And the tip is: “Work Smarter, Not Harder!”
So, yes, this is it! that is the strategy I wanted to share with you today. But don’t be disappointed, let’s elaborate on that, because actually to achieve this, requires some planning and organization.
The key to working smart is “to Prioritize”, and this can be done smoothly taking into account the following 3 suggestions:
As you can see, “simple” doesn’t mean trivial or insignificant, because this strategy involves several important elements to manage stress:
- Time management,
- Clear goal-setting, and
- Working with values
Keep in mind that getting your priorities right will not only save you a lot of time and energy but will also help you to move forward by:
- Increasing positive states (mood), as you will be completing important tasks
- Reducing stress, as you will be proactive, focusing on doing rather than complaining
Then, I invite you to go into action and experiment with this powerful tool. Journal your experience and evaluate your ability to deal with your stress using this strategy, was it useful? was it easy to use? can you make it better?. In this way, you can start creating your very personal stress management toolkit, remember we are unique and in terms of well-being, not one shoe fits all.
To access more resources available to reduce stress, check our resources section:
on our youtube channel: EQness
or our page on insight timer: https://insighttimer.com/eqness
I hope this has been helpful for you,