Stop Stressing Out

    May 23, 2003

It seems that everywhere one looks these days, there is another survey reported that states how stressed out the American people are. There is concrete evidence that proves “being stressed out” is not healthy in any fashion: from heart attacks to weight management to the ability to sleep at night, stress, that is toxic stress, has a negative impact on your life.

Here are some skills that can help you turn that toxic stress into positive action on a daily basis:

1) Breathe deeply and slowly. The Wall Street Journal recently wrote that The American Institute of Stress found that a low-tech solution to computer overload is to inhale slowly. In fact, one of the quickest ways to trigger the body to relax, in any situation, is to take deep, slow breaths. Before you take another phone call, enter a meeting where tension is high or get up to speak to people, take a few deep inhales and let them out to the count of three.

2) Limit information overloadespecially when it’s negative. Skim through the headlines and articles of the daily paper versus reading it cover-to-cover. Watch an earlier newscast than the one right before you go to bed. Delete your spam-mail and don’t worry about it any further; just get rid of it without getting frustrated that you had 100 bogus emails for every three valid ones. Stay away from toxic people; there are lots of them out there and don’t underestimate their affect on you.

3) Ask for help. Some people feel it is a sign of weakness if you ask for help and yet, in reality, it is quite the opposite; a sign of strength. It shows that you understand your personal assets as well as your liabilities and, in today’s world, with all the demands you endure, it is necessary. Find people to share car pool duties for the kids and their activities, have your backup plans created for “sick kid” days in advance, create a strong network of friends that you can lean on and communicate with those around you. Delegation is a great cure for being overwhelmed.

Realize the difference between stress that is good for you and gives you energy versus toxic stress that leaves you feeling wiped out. Put these three skills into action and it will help you to Stop Stressing Out!

Peggy L. McNamara works with organizations that want to Stimulate Some
Action and with association executives that want inspiring, practical
value from their events. Author of “My Tender Soul – A Story of Survival”
Publishes monthly e-zine, “Perpetual Life Management” President/Minnesota
Chapter/ Nat’l Speakers Assoc 651-438-2656 – direct 651-438-2694 – fax