Pick a Specific Way to Reduce YOUR Stress
The article How to Reduce Stress lists many suggestions for reducing your stress. And you might have even thought, Yes, those are good ideas, or, Well, maybe I’ll try one of those tomorrow. While those ideas were easy to read, it’s a bit harder to actually get yourself to use them, even if you know they’d help.
Here’s a quick way to start on your way to reducing stress:
1. Choose only 1 idea
My one idea is: ____________________________
The one idea I’ll do is: Exercise more
2. Identify obstacles
One thing that may get in the way of me doing #1 is: _________________________
One thing that may get in the way of me doing #1 : Rain. If it’s raining, I can’t exercise outside.
3. How will you handle that obstacle?
I’ll deal with this obstacle by: ____________________________
I’ll deal with this obstacle by: I’ll get some exercise videos, so I can exercise inside.
4. Make your goal specific
Instead of “exercise more”, write “exercise 2 times a week”.
Instead of “eat better”, write “eat 2 servings of fruit a day”.
My specific goal is: ____________________________
Here are 2 examples, with all 4 steps:
1. My one idea is: Get better at time management.
2. One thing that may get in the way of me doing #1 is: I’m always running behind.
3. I’ll deal with this obstacle by: Leave 5 minutes earlier than I think I have to.
4. My specific goal is: Give myself 5 extra minutes to get to work each morning this week.
1. My one idea is: Say yes to people who offer to help me.
2. One thing that may get in the way of me doing #1 is: I’m embarrassed that I need help.
3. I’ll deal with this obstacle by: View this as an experiment. I don’t need to continue if it’s too embarrassing.
4. My specific goal is: Say yes to 2 offers of help this week.
Go through this exercise right now for yourself.
1. My one idea is: _________________________________________________
2. One thing that may get in the way of me doing #1 is: ________________________
3. I’ll deal with this obstacle by: ________________________________________
4. My specific goal is: _______________________________________________
List of Stress-reducers:
- Eat a balanced diet
- Time management
- Leave extra time in your schedule to get things done or get to places
- Reduce the number of things on your to-do list
- Schedule in relaxation and fun
- Practice assertiveness skills
- Take a walk
- Practice saying no to requests you don’t have time to do, can’t do, or don’t want to do
- Practice saying yes to offers of help
- Have at least 1 positive activity each day
- Spend time with family
- Plant something
- Spend time with friends
- Schedule time just for yourself
- Do something for others regularly
- Practice deep breathing or meditation regularly
- Repeat positive phrases to yourself, like “things will work out all right”
- Write in a journal
- Spend time on a hobby – gardening, reading – whatever you enjoy
- Laugh at something each day
- Have a favorite place to go, either physically or in your mind