(Note: first published on my stressarrestman blog)
Stress management strategy #6 is quite simple but will take a little planning.
The focus in this technique is on getting to grips with what really causes the stress you experience.
As we have discussed there is more to stress than just your immense workload.
Make a little time to…
Take a piece of paper and analyse your life, both work and personal, take cognisance of the way you really feel about things. You are looking for clues as to what causes your stress to start building up.
Take into account all the little things and note them down. Important - Do not think about solutions or question why at this stage, the idea is to get everything down on paper. Later you can study things to get the insight needed to build strategies to manage or remove the stressors. Once you have finished, start grouping things together. Look for commonality between items. Quite often, you will find that there is not one big thing that builds stress but rather a combination of smaller factors. An interesting question you can ask yourself once you have started to identify causes is: “Why do I choose to allow xyz to affect me in that way?” The answers you get from this question will help you to understand what it is that is causing you to feel stressed because one of the major challenges busy high achievers encounter is actually recognising the root causes of their stress. Therefore until you have clarity about the root causes or your stress it is very difficult to devise an effective stress management strategy. As discussed in strategies #4 & #5: look for ways you can combine activities to give you more life balance.
Sleep is Important
One of the primary stress drivers could be a lack of effective sleep. And, as you know, sleep is essential because it gives our body time to repair and recuperate from the trials & tribulations of the day. Unfortunately a lack of sleep will make you less efficient in your work which, given your nature to be #1, adds to your stress and makes it more likely you will forgo sleep as you strive harder. This vicious cycle will repeat itself until something gives… usually your health. To help prevent this I recommend you take advantage of my offer of a free Rapid Relaxation MP3.
You can listen to it anytime (except whilst driving or operating any kind of machinery) and will find it is especially beneficial in inducing a good nights sleep.
One of the advantages of regular listening to it is that it equips your mind with tools to identify stressors and manage them in the most appropriate way given the situation you face at that particular time.