Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Stress Management in Simple Steps

There will be times in your life, both professional and personal, when you feel that you have no control over things that are happening around you. And you say "you are stressed out." What is stress? Stress is the emotional, mental and physical strain in reaction to pressures from the outside world. The word is derived from the Latin word 'stringere' which means to 'draw tight'. It is your body's way of responding to any kind of demand placed on it.

Some stress is good because it enables us to push ourselves harder and work better. But this lasts only for a short period, and over time, stress inhibits our ability to work properly and leads to physical symptoms like high blood pressure, allergies and depression. We need to react to and manage stress properly in our lives to ensure it works in our favor.

Stress Management is the ability to maintain control when situations, people and events get out of hand. There are certain strategies that you can use to manage the level of stress you are under and minimize its effects.

  1. Talk to friends and family. This gives you a chance to express your feelings and vent them out.

  2. Understand what brings on your stress. Once you know the source of your stress, you can find ways to either reduce the likelihood of it occurring or create more effective strategies to deal with it.

  3. Do not try to be a perfectionist at all times. Try and prioritize what is truly important and don't overwhelm yourself by fretting about your entire workload.

  4. Divide your tasks into smaller achievable ones. This way, as you complete one task, you will feel a sense of achievement and feel motivated to move on to the next one.

  5. Notice if any of the muscles in your body are tense. One of the symptoms of stress is muscle tightening. Just noticing that will often relax the muscle. Stop and take a moment to breathe.

  6. Monitor the number of hours that you work in a week. Give yourself some time away from your business.

  7. Do something you can feel good about. Wash the dishes, cook a meal for your family or read a book. Do something to help get your mind off yourself.

  8. See if there really is something you can change or control in the situation. Change the way you see things and react to them.

  9. Learn to relax - meditation and breathing exercises have proven to be very effective stress management techniques.

  10. Remove yourself from the stressful situation. Take a break even if it is only for a few moments daily.

  11. Set realistic goals for yourself. Reduce the number of things that you are involved in, take help from family or delegate responsibilities.

  12. Get enough rest. A good night's sleep will rejuvenate you and help you deal with problematic issues.

  13. Work off stress with physical activity. Exercise helps to reduce it. So, when you feel tense, go for a brisk walk around the block, play a game of tennis or do some gardening. Start doing regular exercise every day.

  14. Managing your time is an integral part of stress management. Create a list of to-do tasks and do the most important ones, eliminate or postpone those not so crucial to your business.

  15. Above all, be positive. Constantly keep telling yourself how well you can cope rather than how horrible everything is going to be.

The best solution to stress management) is to acknowledge it and deal with it. Having a proper work-life balance will go a long way in reducing stress in your life.

Article written by Akhil Shahani, a serial entrepreneur who wants to help you succeed. If you like to work smart, check out It's full of articles and resources to help you start and grow your business successfully. Please visit us & download our special "Freebie of The Month" at

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