Things to Consider
- What do I have control over?
- Am I prepared for the things I need to do?
- How do I handle conflict?
- Do I take time to do the things I enjoy?
- Am I doing too much?
You can try to avoid some things that make you stressed, but this isn't always possible. Life is never completely stress-free. But there are ways to reduce stress.
- Identify your own stress signals, the things that make you feel the most stressed, and ways to cope that usually work for you. This information can help you the next time you're starting to feel overwhelmed. Here's a worksheet that can help you develop a stress management plan.
- Don't sweat the small stuff. Being clear about what you can control (like the music you listen to) and what you cannot control (like the weather) can help keep things in perspective.
- Prepare as much as you can to reduce stress in certain situations. For example, take the time to study for a test before the big day, or make sure you give yourself enough time to get somewhere so you aren't late.
- Deal calmly with conflict. This is a skill you can build. Sometimes you can't avoid conflict, but conflict management can make a big difference.
- Avoid taking on too much. When you over-commit your time and energy by saying you'll be part of too many activities, the things that can stress you out really add up.
- Have more fun! Take time to do the things you enjoy regularly.
- Take care of your body. Eating healthy foods, getting enough sleep and exercising really help reduce feelings of stress and the effects it has on your body.
- Learn strategies for coping. Let's face it: there are a lot of important things you can't control, too. Maybe your best friend is really sick, or your parents are getting divorced, or you have to move to a new place, for example. You may not be able to change the circumstances, but you can learn strategies for how to cope.
- Keep perspective. Do you have a sense of purpose in your life? Thinking about what kind of person you want to be in life can help you rise above stress. Spend some time finding your passion and setting your goals. That's the start of personal leadership.