Effective Ways to Manage Stress: Success Tips
There are many reasons for work-life stress, but the primary reason that most people experience stress is that they don’t feel appreciated for the work they do. I remember when I stopped working on Wall Street and decided to stay home and raise my kids I thought it would be so much easier. It was not. I had 3 little boys, two in diapers and I felt completely overwhelmed. My husband was working long hours and traveling and so I was often on my own. That winter, I came down with the flu and Jon had to stay home a few days to take care of the boys. I was up in bed listening to the chaos downstairs unable to get up and help. At some point during the day, Jon came upstairs to bring me tea, sat on the bed and said- “Honestly Judy, I do not know how you do this every day!” I felt a great deal of satisfaction knowing that he understood and appreciated what I did each day.
At the Chopra Center, we define stress as what we experience when we feel that our needs are not being met. Those needs are: affection, attention, appreciation and acceptance. At first I thought that these needs were meant to be met externally; by others filling the gap. Gradually I learned that it is up to me to fill these needs.
While we can’t always change others into the appreciative, encouraging people we’d like them to be, we can appreciate and encourage ourselves.
Too often, we get to the end of the day and look at our To-Do List with disappointment over the items we failed to draw a line through. This can be quite discouraging. So I decided that we should make a Ta-Da list instead. A list that would include not only the items we did manage to cross off the To-Do list, but also the relevant pieces of our day that we tend to overlook and minimize.
Negative experiences and thought processes are like Velcro, and the positive ones are like Teflon. We often find ourselves focusing on what we feel we should be doing, failing to give substance to the many tasks that are clearly representative of what we actually fill our time with each day.
For example, did you treat someone that is hard to deal with respectfully, even though you were frustrated? Ta Da! Did you find time for yourself? This should be a part of your Ta-Da list – one we often deny ourselves subconsciously for fear of being “selfish”. Did you spend time straightening up the house, calling a friend that needed to hear from you? Did you keep your cool in a traffic jam? Did you finally figure something out at work that has been a source of stress?
Life can be complicated and filled with responsibilities and a sense of overwhelm; remember to give yourself a pat on the back when you navigate difficulties in a positive way.
The relevance of giving ourselves the attention, affection, appreciation and acceptance that we deserve should not be overlooked. Our To-Do lists can be overwhelming, but when we allow ourselves to acknowledge all that we do accomplish each day, aside from tasks and responsibilities, we begin to realize that we are much more than a list of chores, assignments and meetings.
True appreciation of yourself includes paying attention to “doing” and “being”.
At work and in life, are you doing what you need to do? Appreciate all you do.
At work and in life, are you being who you want to be? Appreciate who you are.
Are you taking the “Me-Time” that you deserve? We cannot serve from an empty vessel.
Doing this for yourself will make you better equipped to handle stress, difficulties and disappointments.
Give yourself the respect you deserve and remember that To-Do lists are overrated – it is the Ta-Da lists that matter!
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