In most parts of the US, spring has finally arrived. No matter what part of the world you’re in, why not do a little spring cleaning in your life to get rid of unwanted stress? You may be thinking “Easier said than done…” It is important to know that there really is no single “cure-all” for stress, though many books, gurus, programs and retreats out there would like you to believe there is.
With a few practical strategies, you might be surprised at how you can whittle away at what’s stressing you:
- Make a needed change. Has something been gnawing at you for a while? Whether you’ve had it with your job or you know it’s time to call it quits in a relationship, sometimes it’s best to tackle the issue head on. No one can tell you what’s right for you – but if something is causing you mega-stress, it deserves your attention. Bigger changes certainly can’t be addressed in a day or two, but verbalizing your intentions, following up with a plan, and getting any needed support can make a huge difference.
- Connect with others. Surround yourself with others who are supportive of you. Consider volunteering – it’s good for your health, according to research. There are so many organizations that would benefit from your involvement! And, if it feels like your life has become unbearable because of stress, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional to help you get a handle on things.
- Set your boundaries. It’s okay to say no – in fact, it’s good for you. Cutting back on your obligations can not only help you lower your stress, but can boost your confidence, too. Check out this simple, helpful article on Psychology Today aptly titled, 10 Tips for Setting Boundaries and Feeling Better.
- Get moving. Exercise is no joke – it can offer some pretty significant changes for your body and your spirits. So says the February 2011 issue of Harvard Men’s Health Watch – and a lot of other sources, too. You don’t have to be a bodybuilder to get the benefits – even stepping away from your desk for a little while to go for a stroll can help you come back refreshed.
- Soak up some “me time”. Just think for a second about the last time you were fully engaged in something you enjoyed – sports…yoga…cooking…travelling…gardening…the list goes on. No deadlines, no pressure, no competitions…just pure enjoyment. How did that feel? Your answer to that is exactly why you need to make time for YOU…no more excuses!
We all experience stress – and if there’s one universal truth, it’s that there will always be another stressor sneaking in, ready to pop into your life at the most inopportune time. Change how you react to stress – and watch how your life changes in the process.
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Image courtesy of adamr at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Colleen Slaughter Raue, Managing Partner of Authentic Leadership International
Colleen is a transformational leadership coach who guides international leaders as they attain the clarity, courage and self-confidence necessary to realize higher levels of productivity and fulfillment in both their personal and professional lives.
Her purpose is to facilitate her clients’ transformation from limiting beliefs and self-doubts into a deeper, more powerful knowingness of how much they – and what they envision for themselves – truly matter.
Colleen’s perspectives were recently featured in an article on the International Coach Federation’s website here.