1. LEARN TO MANAGE YOUR TIME MORE EFFECTIVELY
We waste a lot of time doing unimportant tasks, especially when stressed, so prioritise your day and do the important jobs first. The unimportant ones can wait, and often they will disappear completely leaving you time to do other things. Also, don’t put off the unpleasant tasks – avoidance causes a great deal of stress. Give unpleasant tasks a high priority and do them first.

2. ADOPT A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE
If we eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly and ensure we get adequate sleep & rest our body is better able to cope with stress should it occur. If any of these areas are not happening for you it is usually a warning sign, don’t ignore it, ask for some help.

3. KNOW YOUR LIMITATIONS AND DO NOT TAKE ON TOO MUCH
We cause ourselves a great deal of stress because we like people to like us and don’t want to let people down. We then end up doing more than we should. Learn to delegate effectively & be assertive so that you can say no without upsetting or offending.

4. FIND OUT WHAT CAUSES YOU STRESS
Take time to discover what is worrying you and try to change your thoughts & behaviour to reduce it. A stress assessment can help to fully understand the causes, impli-cations to your health & how to manage, cope & make those necessary changes.

5. AVOID UNNECESSARY CONFLICT
Do not be too argumentative. Is it really worth the stress? Look for win – win situations. Look for a resolution to a dispute where both parties can achieve a positive outcome. Find out what the real cause of the problem is & deal with it.

6. ACCEPT THE THINGS YOU CANNOT CHANGE
Changing a difficult situation is not always possible. If this proves to be the case, recognise and accept things as they are & concentrate on all that you do have control over. Managing change effectively is essential or else performance will be reduced.

7. TAKE TIME OUT TO RELAX AND RECHARGE YOUR BATTERIES
Alongside holidays, with at least one break of 10-14 continuous days recommended, you will perform more effectively during work after even a short 10/15 minute break, easily making up the time you used relaxing.

8. FIND TIME TO MEET FRIENDS
Friends can ease work troubles & help us see things in a different way. The activities we engage in with friends help us relax and we will often have a good laugh. It boosts the immune system that is often depleted during stress. If you do become stressed, engage in some form of physical activity. It works off the biochemical and physical changes that occur within your body due to stress. Relaxation also helps your body return to its normal healthy state. Good relaxation techniques include breathing exercises, massage and a variety of complimentary therapies.

9. TRY TO SEE THINGS DIFFERENTLY, DEVELOP A POSITIVE THINKING STYLE
If something is concerning you, try to see it differently. Talk over your problem with somebody before it gets out of proportion. Often, talking to a friend/colleague/family member will help you see things from a different and less stressful perspective. You may also need to consider professional help in order to achieve the desired outcome & prevent ill health and/or burnout.

10. AVOID ALCOHOL, NICOTINE AND CAFFEINE AS COPING MECHANISMS
Long term, these faulty coping mecha-nisms will just add to the problem. For example, caffeine & nicotine are stimulants, too much & the body reacts to this with the stress response increasing or even causing anxi-ty symptoms. Alcohol is a depressant!

Courtesy: ISMA UK

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