So how do we reduce the stress in our life?

The first thing to remember is that you ALWAYS have a choice. Knowing this leads to empowerment. You always have a choice, and in fact you may have many choices. I’m not saying the choice is always easy, but you do have a choice.

Identify what things in your life is causing you stress. You might like to start out with the little things like. “I’m always so rushed in the morning that I’m already stressed before I get to work”. Then work your way up to Work, Home, Family, Relationships, Money.

Once you start identifying the stressors in your life you are then able to do something about them. Change the situation or change your response.

Let’s look at “I’m always rushed in the morning that I’m already stressed before I get to work.” Write down, off the top of your head some solutions, for example. Can I get up earlier? Is there anything I can do the night before that will free up some time in the morning, for example making lunch the night before. Is there anything I do in the morning that someone else in the family might be able to do? Give it a try, come up with your own solutions.

Learn to say no. What you’re boss, family, friends, partner asks you to do something and your schedule is already full. Let them know that you’re too busy to do it. Maybe you can come up with a solution to this. For example your boss wants you to stay back at work for an hour tonight. You may come up with a solution like, “I can’t tonight but I can stay back for 1/2 hr tomorrow and the next day.” If someone puts you on the spot say to them, ‘I’m busy at the moment, let me think about it and I’ll get back to you’ This gives you some time to come up with a solution.

Use a diary. Organizing your day, week, month in advance. Know what needs to be done urgently, do them first. Make a To Do list. (I’ve got To Do lists on top of to Do lists! I find them essential to knowing what I’m up to.) Keep a diary with all your To Do’s, your meetings, when your’e catching up with people, important dates etc.

There’s one particular Stress Reduction technique that I think is fantastic. Buy a journal. (This is aside from having a diary) In the back write about your day, you can vent as much as you like, whinge, swear, get it all out. THEN, and this is the important part. In the front write a list of all the positive things that happened to you today, no matter how small. A stranger smiled at you, write it down. Write down anything that made you laugh, giggle or bought a smile to your face. Write down any positive thoughts you had, or inspiration ideas, or nice things you thought about doing for yourself. In fact, it might be better to buy 2 journals, they can just be cheap notebooks from the newsagents, they don’t have to be anything expensive as long as you use them. You could use one for the venting, (which you’ll probably want to throw away when it’s full) and one for the Postive, funny, happy things in your life. Even if it’s a TV ad that made you smile or you heard something funny on the news or on TV, write it down. You will want to refer to this journal all the time. Reminding yourself of the good, positive, fun things in your life.

Take a notebook with you everywhere. Buy something that will fit in your handbag, or pocket. Some people use their diaries to do this. Use this to write down any notes, anything you want to remember. You can schedule it into your diary later.

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