There are essentially two main ways of reducing stress:
To identify the sources of your stress and where possible seek either to reduce or eliminate these; and/or
To find ways to enable you to cope better with those sources of stress you can neither reduce nor avoid.
The most effective way to get your stress level down is usually by working towards both of these aims simultaneously. These tips from the experts will help you do just that:
Much stress is linked to always being in a rush, to constantly fighting the clock to get everything you need to do completed in time. Plan your day more carefully, allow yourself enough time for what you must do and so meet deadlines more gracefully, and you’ll find this cuts out a great deal of stress.
Directly linked to the above is the recommendation that you should be careful not to set yourself unrealistic targets, especially those that you know beforehand you will probably be incapable of meeting or where you will only manage to do so by rushing like mad or cutting corners, this being a sure-fire recipe to push up your stress level.
Always think things through carefully before you act or commit yourself to a course of action. Impulsive and less than well-thought-out actions are frequently the source of subsequent regrets, and the latter can be extremely stressful.
Set aside time to relax both physically and mentally for at least a part of every day, no matter how busy your schedule may be.
Retain control of your own life by learning to say ‘no’ if saying ‘yes’ would commit you to what is likely to become a stressful situation.
Whenever possible, take a break now and then, as a change of routine can recharge your mental and emotional batteries and improve your resistance to stress, thereby effectively reducing your level of it.
Learn to accept sensible limitations. If something is beyond your control, accept it as gracefully as possible until the time comes when you can do something to change it for the better. Agonising and worrying about things that can’t be helped is a major cause of stress and can also be a precursor to chronic anxiety.