Written by Founder and CEO, Sara Potler LaHayne
Now, as we close National Stress Awareness Month and I sit here awaiting a delayed cross-country flight that I hustled to pack for this morning — not to mention my Olympic-worthy sprint through LAX— I am reminded just how important stress management is.
Why are some people better than others at navigating stress?
How do we empower and strengthen individuals’ ability to manage stress and be more resilient? Some of us fall and can’t get back up. Some of us fall, get back up, and rise stronger. We all have it in us to call on our inner superheroes and use stress to learn, grow and be better versions of ourselves. What separates those who can hang and those who can’t? How can each of us change how we view and interact with stress, and see it as an opportunity rather than a burden?
As I begin a new month, it is important to self-reflect and set new intentions for May. In order to begin with a clear head, I’m called to remind myself of our 10 favorite stress management tips…
1.) Breathe. Set a timer for 5 to 10 minutes and focus only on your feelings. Breathe. Let go of the story connected to your feelings — like what happened before this moment or what’s going to happen next — and just focus all your energy on the feelings. When the timer goes off, MOVE ON.
2.) Name it. Pay attention to your senses. Use your five fingers to name the tastes, smells, touch, sounds and sights around you, which can help to ground you in the present moment so you can move through the stressor.
3.) Be creative. Creativity and expression activate connections to ourself and others in ways that are often deeper than traditional communication channels.
4.) Get perspective. Go for a walk. Clear your mind and change the scenery. Move your body and release endorphins.
5.) Celebrate yourself. Find three things to be grateful for RIGHT NOW. Gratitude helps to shift our perspective from a place of lack or deficit, to a place of fullness.
6.) Sleep on it. Separate yourself from the stressor with a solid 7–8 hours of sleep.
7.) Perform a random act of kindness. Shifting our focus outside of ourselves can help to boost our own sense of value and self-worth. It also makes the world a better place!
8.) Laugh it off. Find an element of humor in the situation, and if that’s too challenging, listen to your favorite comic or call your most amusing friend. Laughing feels good and reconnects us to the joy in our lives.
9.) Do something you love. Pick up the guitar, play a game of hoops, read your favorite novel. Take a few minutes to engage in the hobby that makes your heart feel light.
10.) Embrace your mistakes. Remember that we are human and what you are experiencing now will serve you in your own growth and development. Our mistakes are part of the journey.
So the next time you spill coffee all over your shirt, accidentally hit “Reply All” on a private email, or even happen to be running late for a meeting — I encourage you to give these helpful tips a try.
Check out Move This World for more resources on stress management and emotional wellbeing.
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