What Do You Do to Overcome Stress?

Here are some that have worked for me. I noticed that there is overlap with your list:

  1. Take a deep breath. Studies have shown that stress can be reduced 70% (sometimes even more) by just getting more oxygen to your brain. Note that this is not a substitute solution to ongoing issues. But it can get you through some peak moment.
  2. Talk about it… especially if you are verbal thinker (someone who needs to think out-loud). I can't believe some of the things that go though my mind when I hear the words come out of my mouth. For some, it also works if you write down your thought. You may also need to read them back to yourself. It also helps to share with others, especially good friends. If you would rather not, try a stranger instead. The anonymity with a stranger can surprisingly be easier in some situations, especially once you get past starting to talk.
  3. Write things down. Feeling overwhelmed can often be reduced by relieving yourself of having to remember everything. By writing it down, your brain has permission to stop thinking about it.
  4. Shift perspective. As long as you are thinking only about how you feel, what you want or don't want, you will not be able to understand and overcome why people are acting the way they are with you. What might be going on in their life? Could something have happened before they snapped at you? Could their issue with you be only a small tiny piece that was needed to push them and the rest of their baggage over the edge? How do they see you? What are their values? What are their needs? You may not know for sure what others are thinking however with a little practice, you can usually come up at least a few possible reasons
  5. Take a micro nap. When I feel stressed, I can often break that stressful pattern by taking a micro nap of 2-5 minutes. When I wake up, I have broken my thought pattern and am usually able to avoid going back to that place again. It's kind of like pressing the reset button and rebooting. This doesn't work for everyone but it might for you.
  6. Be grateful. This more than just redirecting focus. It actually replaces your stress with energy and love.
  7. Take responsibility. As long as you find yourself blaming others, blaming the weather, a situation, just about anything other than yourself, you will have difficulty in letting go. Externalizing the blame actually robs you of the power to do something about it.
  8. Think about how you could make the best of a situation. If you can't accomplish your original goal, could you do something else instead? Who could you help? I love photography and belong to a photography group. I once went to one of their outings. Unfortunately I got there late and could not locate the rest of the group. I thought to myself "How can I salvage this afternoon?". I decided to walk around downtown offering to help tourists take pictures of their group. It felt great to help others.
  9. Find the lesson. What can you learn from this situation? Is there a way you could share your lesson with others so that they might avoid making the same mistakes in their life or their business?
  10. Be present and see things as they really are, not worse! Then see things how they could be and take action to make it happen.
  11. Go for a walk and keep walking until you find a way to feel better. Sometimes it will take me 3-4 hours  but I always find a way and feel much better afterwards. As a bonus, you'll get great physical exercise, especially if you get stressed a lot.
  12. Avoid stress in the first place. Learn to notice the patterns that lead you down the path to stress. Then choose a different road.
  13. Step back from the situation and realize that the feeling of stress is your body's way of giving you a message: "Hey, this isn't the way I thought it should be."
  14. Realize that when you are stressed, you are not necessarily thinking straight. Research on stressed has shown that the right and left side of your brain stop communicating when people get stressed.
  15. Have rounded shoulders. I got this one from my dentist. If you feel that the weight of your world is on your shoulders, take your hands and just brush it off.
  16. Feel like you are always carrying heavy bags? Imagine putting them in a rocket and shooting it off into the sun.

What works for you? Looking forward to hearing more ideas!

In the last couple of years, I also started using Byron Katie's technique, very successfully I might add.


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