Stress Control

Being stuck in traffic:

There are few feelings as frustrating as being in traffic that has come to a dead stop or is crawling along when you need to get somewhere in a hurry your child’s school, your office, or a doctor’s appointment. You can’t anticipate an accident on the road, but you can do some advance planning to avoid stress:

When possible, avoid scheduling appointment during peak traffic hours; when that’s not possible, give yourself twice the time to get to your destination.

Research alternate routes or adjust your work schedule if leaving home 15 minutes earlier, for instance, can help you avoid traffic. And if you do get stuck, keep in mind that while you can’t control the traffic, you can control your reaction to the situation. Use your time constructively and reduce and reduce stress by listening to an audio book or music practicing deep breathing relaxation to prevent frayed nerves. If you’re going to be late for a meeting or appointment, call ahead to explain what’s happened rather than keeping someone else waiting. The person on the other end of the phone will probably be more understanding of your predicament than you expect.


Arriving on time:

To reduce stress from being late, plan for unforeseen delays and give yourself extra time to reach your destination. If you arrive early, use the extra minutes to freshen up, get organized, return a phone call that you thought you’d have to delay and delight in the fact that you avoided the stress of cutting it too close!

Meeting a deadline at work:

It may not be uncommon for your boss to ask you to complete a project on short notice. You can use this opportunity to flounder or shine. Being organized in general can help make a pressing deadline a little less stressful. Practicing good time management skills will also reduce stress when you’re crunched for time. Consider writing out a concrete to do list or making a schedule to help stay on track even when a major deadline is looming. Taking these methodic steps will increase your confidence level and help you avoid stress.


Making a presentation:

Many people become anxious about giving a presentation. Taking the necessary time to get ready, though, can help you avoid stress. Plant ahead so you have plenty of opportunities to prepare, review and give a dry run in front of a friend or your spouse if you feel confident about your knowledge of the material, you will reduce stress. If you’re feeling nervous, relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing before, during and after your presentation, can help slow your heart rate and make you feel calmer.

Arguing with friends, family or coworkers:

It’s normal not to always see eye to eye with those around you. Even so, a disagreement doesn’t have to become a stressful confrontation. When you approach your loved one or co-worker respectfully and reorganize that you are each entitled to your own opinion and having different opinions doesn’t have to change your opinion of one another. If it seems like an argument is spiraling out of control, take a deep breath and step back from the situation. A brief time out can help both of you keep things in perspective.

Having a financial problem:

Planning for potential financial issues ahead of time can help you reduce stress. Focus on building up your savings, consider taking an additional job if necessary and stick to a reasonable budget. Living within your means and replenishing your savings account can help significantly reduce financial stress. If you do find yourself in a financial bind, seek out the advice of a financial counselor who can help you deal with creditors and find ways to cut your bills.

Waiting in line:

Waging in line is another stressful situation that you can’t control, but you can anticipate and plan for by shopping at off hours. If you’re pressed for time, put off tasks (where there’s likely to be a long line). Look for stress free ways to get your tasks done, for instance email instead of sending hard copies. And if you have no choice but to wait in line, take deep breaths, think of something soothing and simply try to let your stress to.

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