AKRON (Feb. 10, 2015) — Relieving stress is easier said than done. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
Years ago, I used to think I could be stress free if I completed all my work within the constraints of my work day, and I separated my home and work lives. That didn’t work.
Then I tried to make sure I read each of my emails and responded to all of those that required a response. Then I would delete them and start anew the next day. That didn’t work, either.
Being an adult with a career means balancing things. And balancing things can mean multitasking. And the more multitasking I found myself doing, the harder it was to stick to any one method to keep my stress level under control. But sometimes that stress can weigh us down and stop us from being as productive as we need to be. That’s how I was feeling a few months ago. And I realized I needed to do something about it.
Then I started harnessing the stress to help me improve. I started working toward goals, and I set three-, six- and 12-month goals. I tried to make my goals personal. Accomplishments no one other than myself are responsible for achieving. That way I had no one else to attribute my own success or failure to.
Finding the right goals can be hard. But taking the negative energy from stress and using it to accomplish something feels great.
I also started talking about what was stressing me out with people who will listen as I’m trying to talk out a problem. It’s helped me get the stress off my chest and brainstorm for solutions or vent about a situation that’s stressing me out. As a matter of a fact, one of my friends and I made a promise to ourselves. For each thing we vent about, we have to give two positives about our lives to help us remember the good outweighs the bad. That’s really helped too.
Finding activities that take your mind off the stress doesn’t mean the stress goes away. But it will save more room for energy that can be used to accomplish my goals.
A few months ago I was reading the articles on LinkedIn when I read a blog that helped me find my final technique to relieve stress. I started making time in the evening for “designated worry time.” I began putting off my stress, issues and concerns that built up during the day and addressing them when the time came.
Stressing in the middle of an emergency or a mistake or problem doesn’t do anything. So pushing it aside helps me try to solve it and assess the damage. It takes the emotion out of it until I’m ready and have the time to deal with it. This may not work for everyone, but it’s worked for me.
Whatever your techniques may be, don’t stop looking for them until you find them. It’s better for your career and life in general to eliminate as much stress as possible.
And really, no one wants a Jerry Maguire moment at work or a similar breakdown at home.
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