One of the most singificant problems human beings face as a general population is how to handle stress. As a life & career expert, and an acclaimed advice columnist, I have compiled eleven of the most significant ways that you can reduce stress in your life. You may not always be able to make stress dissappear, but you can manage it with some very simple techniques.
1. Talk! Don't hold all your feelings within! Discuss your stressful feelings with someone you trust who will listen without being judgmental or pressuring you to their own point of view. Even if you can't change the immediate situation, talking about it helps alleviate some of the tension you may be feeling. Supplement the verbalizing with something physical: write it out, exercise or hit a pillow.
2. ACT! Be willing to take risk and make change, no matter how small. Try to change the stressful situation, or at least some part of it. Moving forward in small ways helps you feel empowered and in control. Put one foot in front of the other to move in a positive direction. Soon, the stress will lessen.
3. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! If you learn about how your body reacts to stress, you can also learn how to counter that stress. Learn to listen to your body's signals and find ways to reduce your stress, even if it's just "taking five" to clear your mind. Relaxation exercises (E.g. Yoga, meditation, physical exercise) help, too.
4. BE IN CHARGE! Discover what you need to feel good about yourself and get your needs met. Another way to reduce your stress is to find an interest, hobby or activity where you feel in charge and call the shots. If you really feel out of control, don't stay silent and alone! Seek guidance from someone who is qualified to help you get through the obstacles, and move forward again. If you can't find someone qualified in your neighborhood or you don't feel as though you can talk to someone "in person" try a qualified internet counselor. If you would like to talk to ME (Advice Sister Alison) you can find information at http://www.advicesisters.net/getpersonaladvice3.html
5. DON'T OVERWHELM YOURSELF: If you are stressed and overwhelmed, perhaps you are trying to handle too much. Rid yourself of extra duties that aren't necessary or important. Learn how to delegate and how to say "no" without feeling guilty. Ask for help if you need it.
6. GET AWAY: Sometimes a change, however small, can do wonders for your spirit. Forget it all for a while--escape! Go somewhere new for a few hours, or a few days if you can afford to. If not, it may be helpful just to "get away" to a warm bath for a little while! A good article on how to create an easy spa experience at home is at: http://www.advicesisters.net/WWarchives/wwarcspa3.html
7. PRIORITIZE: You may not be able to avoid all the responsibilities obligations you currently have, but you can learn how to complete them without resentment and consciously choose how you will handle them.
8. EXTEND YOURSELF: Make your own life better by making someone else's life better. Give of yourself. Volunteer! You will feel empowered, positive, important...and you will be! Visit http://www.volunteermatch.com and choose an organization you believe in!
9. MAKE SUCCESS HAPPEN! If you can't change the world, change yourself! Learn how to love yourself as you are, while you work towards your goals. Then, make a commitment to yourself to start improving the things about yourself and your life that (you believe) need it. Instead of immediate, dramatic change, learn to enjoy the journey of lifelong self-improvement. You are always a work in progress. For life & career advice, visit ASK ALISON - Managing Your Life & Career at: http://www.metrotribe.org/askalison.html for love and relationship advice, visit THE ADVICE SISTERS Relationship Tools For Winners Web Site http://www.advicesisters.net/
10. SOCIALIZE: Spend time with family and friends for love and support. Don't be afraid to enjoy yourself! Appreciate friendship and let others know you care about them, too. Love may not conquer all, but it's a great start!
11. LEARN HOW TO BE HAPPY: One thing all of life's winners have in common is a sense of well-being, a positive attitude and realistic goals. Focus on the good things about yourself, and in your life. Nobody's perfect. Learn to enjoy the "little things" that make you happy. Count your blessings. Every day, write down on a slip of paper one thing you are grateful for, even if it's just a sunny day, a friend's phone call, your cat's happy purr. Put this "blessing" in a jar along with a dollar or more. Do this for one month. At the end of the month read all those slips of paper and you will realize that life is better than you think! Use the money to do something really special for yourself, or donate it to charity.
Copyright © 2002 all rights reserved by THE ADVICE SISTERS® The Advice Sisters is a registered United States trademark. No portion of this article may be copied or used in any without written permission of THE ADVICE SISTERS. For permissions, suggestions or comments: E-Mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
Alison Blackman Dunham (aka. "Advice Sister Alison") is a writer, columnist, life & career expert, and personal public relations consultant. She is known throughout the world as 1/2 THE ADVICE SISTERS® with a popular web site at: http://www.advicesisters.net/ Her writing career spans more than two decades. She has appeared on radio and television and her work has appeared in numerous print and virtual publications around the world. She is also the author of nine self-help books including Recruiting Love: Using the Business Skills You Have To Find The Love You Want, Cyclone Books, 1998 and YOU ARE THE PRODUCT - How To Sell Yourself To Employers, Piggle Press, 2000.
Alison also writes the highly acclaimed career advice column Ask Alison: Managing Your Life & Career http://www.metrotribe.org/askalison.html and has a series of compact disks for boosting social savvy, entitled, Make Great Connections http://www.advicesisters.net/Audiotapes3.html
Alison is also the co-founder of THE METROPOLITAN TRIBE http://www.metrotribe.org a unique international association of visual artists and creative individuals in related fields (e.g. writers, designers, craftspeople, media types, etc.). Through The Metropolitan Tribe, artists make connections, share ideas and resources, and forge success through non-competitive, collaborative activities.