Five (and more) great deals for better, healthier, happier living!

Manage Stress to Power Your Day

Manage Stress to Power Your Day

We all feel stress. There’s no way around it. Work, home, family, friends, school, church, and even social activities can put pressure on us to do more, work faster, and solve other people’s problems as well as our own. Even vacations can add stress if we’re not careful. So, what can we do?

I like to think of stress as coming in two forms:

  1. Pressure to perform, advance, or get something done.
  2. Worries, fears, and concerns (usually due to things outside of my control).

I can harness the first one to do more and be more. I can use it to encourage me, drive me to reach my goals, and fulfill my commitments. The second form just wears me down, saps my energy, pulls me away from my goals, and can make me feel disconnected or even afraid for the future.

How can we focus on letting the positive form of stress move us forward instead of feeling overwhelmed or defeated? Here are some strategies that I’ve found successful.

Stress Management Strategies

I like to start by focusing on my goals. I reflect on what I want to accomplish this year, this month, and this week. I look with gratitude at all of the good things in my life and assess what I need to do more of and what I need to do less of. With a goal of making just a tiny improvement today, I know that I will make massive progress over the course of months and weeks. I acknowledge the improving a little today is just as much a reason to celebrate as the progress I’ll make in the very final step on the way to my goals. Once I’ve oriented my mind toward the future, everything gets a little easier.

Next, I try to remind myself that very few of the things that I worry about actually ever happen and that all of that worry is just wasted energy thrown away. Even worse, it’s costed me in my mood, energy, sense of well being, and more. All my worry has downside with no positive impacts. Sure, I consider risks and think about what preparation I must do, but I do my best to through away my worries as the worthless junk they are.

How can I keep a positive attitude? I’ve found one of the best strategies is some simple meditation. Taking a brief moment to calm yourself and focusing on powerful, positive messages gives your brain a break and harnesses your subconscious mind to refocus your thoughts on positive progress. Some great tools you can try include the Calm and Head Space apps available for mobile devices. They both have lots of options for relaxation as well as more-focused mediation strategies.

The key goal is to calm the mind and to stop worrying.There’s no need to try to force this. Instead, we acknowledge the wandering mind and let our focus build over time.

Stress is real and can be very painful, but recognizing the difference between problems you can resolve and open-ended fears and worries can guide you towards getting more done and feeling much better about it every day.