From boosting productivity through easy organizational techniques to balancing a hectic work schedule while feeling in control of your day, here are 5 simple stress management tips for busy career women.
If you have a demanding job or a stressful lifestyle, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, frantic, and frazzled at times. If you want to climb the ladder of success, while taking on more responsibilities and projects, you’ll need to master the art of stress management. Fortunately, there are several ways to minimize stress, while moving ahead on projects and tasks.
5 Simple Stress Management Tips
Stress is a form of mental anxiety that can lead to a negative impact on one’s overall health, physical well-being, and emotional state. While it’s not necessarily possible to eliminate stress completely (unless you go “off the grid” to live in a remote location without any responsibilities), there are stress management techniques that can help you minimize the impact that stress has on your life.
1. MEDITATE: Each morning, start your day with an invigorating meditation. This can include a 15-minute stretching and breathing session that allows you to clear your mind and get in touch with your body. Or, it can be as simple as being still and envisioning your day – what you want to accomplish, how you want to feel and act, and things that would give you a sense of higher purpose. Taking time each day to meditate (or focus) helps you get centered and feel more calm.
2. GET ORGANIZED: In the world of business, there’s always something to do. To help you stay on track with your accomplishments, write to-do lists each day. Make sure to prioritize each task in sequence by starting with the urgent, must-do-now assignments, and putting the less-important tasks toward the bottom of the list. As you check-off each completed task throughout the day, you feel more capable and on top of your work, and less stressed or anxious about getting things done.
3. BREATHE: Did your co-worker just say a rude comment? Are you concerned that your client isn’t going to like your presentation? Take a moment, and just breathe. Often when we get stressed, our breathing becomes shortened. When our brains and bodies don’t get enough oxygen, our energy can quickly get zapped, and we feel tired and stressed-out. As you take a deep breath in, imagine yourself being filled with a peaceful, calm energy. As you breathe out, release any thoughts and feelings of frustration, worry, or anxiety. Taking a few moments throughout your day to do deep breathing will help you stay calm and manage stress levels.
The American Institute of Stress says, “Deep breathing increases the supply of oxygen to your brain and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which promotes a state of calmness. Breathing techniques help you feel connected to your body—it brings your awareness away from the worries in your head and quiets your mind.” [Source: Stress.org]
4. FOCUS ON THE POSITIVE: Since stress starts with our thoughts, it’s imperative that we learn how to control our repetitive thought processes. Throughout life, we often develop behavioral reactions to types of stimulus, which we rarely think about or look to change. Therefore, it’s up to us to consciously change our impulsive responses.
Instead of reacting in a negative manner to a particular situation, step back for a second, and look objectively at the situation. Think about the positive aspects of that situation – like the lessons you are learning from it, ways that you can help improve the outcome, or changes that could be implemented to prevent it from happening again. By focusing on the positive (and thinking about life as a series of “learning lessons” instead of mistakes) helps you manage stress and gain more from each experience.
5. SMILE: A public speaking professor once told me, “If you smile at yourself in front of a mirror before public speaking, you’ll feel more confident and self-assured, and thereby give a better speech.” Smiling not only has an immediate emotional effect on the person who’s smiling (it triggers feelings of happiness), it also generally catalyzes positive reactions in other people.
As Psychology Today published, “Smiling has hormonal and physiological consequences which make us feel better and want to smile more. Smiling self medicates and heals. It has such obvious quick and immediate rewards to those who smile: they feel better, others respond more positively, and they succeed at their task more quickly and more often. Thus they feel better about themselves and their task and smile more naturally more often.” [Source: PsychologyToday]
When you feel stress coming on throughout your day, take a moment for yourself and do one of the simple stress management techniques above. You’ll soon start to feel more calm, peaceful, and centered, helping you get through your busy day without feeling frazzled or drained.
For more stress management tips and techniques, check out the stress management books below.
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