3 Quick Steps to Outrun Stress
By Sandy Schroeder
Tension and stress can easily cloud the day in a fast-moving world. When family demands and work deadlines just keep coming, you may need a simple formula to cope.
Recently, dumblittleman.com compared stress to fire and suggested we “stop, drop and roll” to get away from it. I agree. If we follow that advice we can ease stress with three steps.
- Step back
- Let go
Pause - When your kids are sick, relatives are coming, and you have an extra project due, pause for a minute to breathe. Close the door, or step outside, and find a quiet spot. Then let your breath relax your body. Take five deep breaths in and out, letting your belly come forward as you inhale. Imagine all of your stress leaving each time you exhale.
Step back - Every morning before you start the day, take an honest look at your schedule. You may simply be trying to handle too many things, and need to delegate a few tasks. Or there may be some better ways to handle issues that slow everything down. Try to look at your schedule from the outside. What would you tell someone else to do if this were their schedule? Then take your own advice and start streamlining some of the details.
Let go - Set aside a little time each day to simply let go of everything. You may go for a run, walk for an hour, or watch your favorite funny old movie and just giggle a lot. If you have positive friends who make you laugh, meet them for coffee, or invite them over for supper. When you allow yourself time to relax and kick back, you may find your whole perspective improves. As you feel more positive, everything around you may seem less difficult.
If these steps work for you, keep it up and continue to look for ways to make them work better. When you pause, you may find some form of visual imaging or meditation works, too. Or a regular yoga class may help you let go of stress.
As you step away, and really look at your day-to-day, weekly and monthly patterns, you may be able to head off problems or develop new easier routines.
Finally, as you learn to let go, you may feel stress lift. The happiest people that I know always have time to share a quick joke, or just put their feet up for a few minutes and listen to some great music. Take your turn and enjoy the moment.
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