COPING WITH STRESS
Stress is and always has been an inherent part of living. During prehistoric
times, a stressful day entailed securing food, maintaining family needs,
and avoiding wild animals. Modern day life has challenges no less stressful
- the need to keep current with e-mail, answer the cell, complete task
lists, and do "more" with "less" renders a sense of
being always on the go. In essence, the primitive need to always be on
guard and ready to perform has not changed much over the years. However,
there are two forms of stress:
- Distress, the more familiar, is the chronic feeling of being
overwhelmed, oppressed, and behind in your tasks. It is the pervasive
sense of being taxed by life with little opening for relief.
- Eustress is the alternate form of stress that is actually beneficial.
Eustress allows us to engage with the challenges in life that are meaningful
and offset boredom. It can entail utilizing that adrenalin surge to
lend the necessary energy for maximum productivity.
Dr. David Greenfield recommends these strategies for keeping
yourself on an even keel and dealing with distress:
- Deal with the cause. If tension comes from your relationship with
a partner, talk out your differences. The longer you try to contain
yourself, the more stress you'll build up.
- Learn to pace yourself. No matter how hard you try, you can't be in
high gear all the time. Allow for rest points. One good way to do this
is to set goals and then take time out to reward yourself once you've
- Realize your limits, and plan around them. Don't take on more than
you can handle. If you have a number of must-do tasks, tackle them one
at a time, in the order of their urgency.
- Learn flexibility and accept imperfection. Go easy on yourself. Take
care of things as you can, and don't worry about them the rest of the
time. Don't expect perfection from yourself and others.
- Talk out your troubles. Learn to talk things over with someone you
trust. It releases pressure, makes you feel better, and sometimes can
help you see a new side to your problem, or turn to a professional listener,
such as a counselor. There's nothing weak about knowing when to ask
- Develop a positive and outgoing disposition. If you look at the bright
side of things and beyond yourself, you won't concentrate on failure.
There is also evidence that positive emotions help fight disease, while
negative ones produce or intensify illness.
- Learn to distance yourself. When you find yourself in a heated argument,
stop and ask yourself, "Is this something really worth fighting
for?" If not, give in. You may find other people will do so, too.
- Make the most of your time. Try to work as efficiently as you can
in blocks of time, and don't do everything yourself. Learn to delegate.
- Plan for change. Coping with the unexpected is a great source of stress,
but you don't have to be caught off guard. Even if you cannot clearly
avoid certain changes, you can predict them in some cases and reduce
the shock by being prepared.
- Don't fight the inevitable. It's a waste of time. A better approach
is to accept what you cannot change.
- Eat sensibly, and get plenty of rest. When your body is run down,
a lot of things look worse than they really are, and your ability to
cope with them is also reduced.
- Exercise. A physical workout is a great tension releaser. Find something
that you like to do, and schedule it into your life.
- Get away from it all. Take some time every day to be quietly with
you. You can train yourself to relax by deliberately tensing and relaxing
your muscles, by deep breathing, by thinking about and visualizing pleasant
scenes, and by meditating.
- Have fun. Plan to do something you enjoy on a regular basis, whether
it is a hobby or a night on the town. Of course, these are not the only
steps to fight stress. Nor is stress the same experience for each individual.
What bothers one person does not bother another. Still, regardless of
the techniques you use, the only way to manage stress is to find release
valves in your daily routine and in your attitude toward life.
- Breathe. Remember you can't deal with your emotions if you don't breathe
deeply. Your breathing should be from your abdomen. If you want to know
how to breathe just watch a young child's natural breathing.
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Working Smart with Outlook Public Class November 1, 2005
IS YOUR OFFICE E-MAIL RUNNING AMOK?
By Dan Stamp
The average office worker is now receiving more than 36 e-mails a day.
Misused and overused, e-mail has been identified by our clients as a leading
Productivity Pirate. Many say that it now adds more than two hours every
day to an already crowded schedule. E-mail is also used inappropriately
to avoid confrontational or contentious issues at work.
One study also concluded that 45% of e-mails received at the office have
no relevance to actual work. Here are three tips to make this e-mail relevant
- If you are laboring hard to compose an e-mail, it usually suggests
that a higher order communication is necessary (i.e. a telephone call
or face-to-face meeting)
- If your e-mail message is contentious, sleep on it.
- Create e-mail guidelines that balance technology and personal contact.
Develop an e-mail charter for your team or office.
An Email charter will help make you and your team more effective. Our
worldwide Priority training team can help you develop essential technology
skills and create email protocols for your organization.