Sunday, June 10, 2007

Sherri's Helpful Hints

Avoiding Unnecessary Stress

Managing time

Time management skills can allow you to spend more time with your family and friends and possibly increase your performance and productivity. This will help reduce your stress.

To improve your time management:

Save time by focusing and concentrating, delegating, and scheduling time for yourself.

Keep a record of how you spend your time, including work, family, and leisure time.

Prioritize your time by rating tasks by importance and urgency. Redirect your time to those activities that are important and meaningful to you.

Manage your commitments by not over- or undercommitting. Don't commit to what is not important to you.

Deal with procrastination by using a day planner, breaking large projects into smaller ones, and setting short-term deadlines.

Build healthy coping strategies

It is important that you identify your coping strategies. One way to do this is by recording the stressful event, your reaction, and how you coped in a stress journal. With this information, you can work to change unhealthy coping strategies into healthy ones-those that help you focus on the positive and what you can change or control in your life.


Some behaviors and lifestyle choices affect your stress level. They may not cause stress directly, but they can interfere with the ways your body seeks relief from stress. Try to:

Balance personal, work, and family needs and obligations.

Have a sense of purpose in life.

Get enough sleep, because your body recovers from the stresses of the day while you are sleeping.

Eat a balanced diet for a nutritional defense against stress.

Get moderate exercise throughout the week.

Limit your consumption of alcohol.

Don't smoke.

Social support

Social support from family, friends, and the community is a major factor in how we experience stress. Research shows a strong relationship between social support and mental and physical health.

This type of support includes both emotional support such as love, trust, and understanding, as well as advice and concrete help such as time or money. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. In fact, it can bring you closer to people you interact with every day, and it can significantly reduce your stress level. If you are feeling stressed, you can look for support from:

Family members and friends.

Programs offered through your school or job (for example, assistance programs or stress management courses).

Colleagues at work, or people you interact with in other areas of your life (such as people who share your hobbies or other interests).

A professional counselor. Be sure to see someone who has experience and credentials.

Members or leaders of your church or religious organization.

Support groups, if you have special circumstances such as providing care for someone who is elderly or has a chronic illness. Support groups may also be available on the Internet.

Changing thinking

When an event triggers negative thoughts, you may experience fear, insecurity, anxiety, depression, rage, guilt, and a sense of worthlessness or powerlessness. These emotions trigger the body's stress response, just as an actual threat does. Dealing with your negative thoughts and how you see things can help reduce stress. You can learn these techniques on your own or seek help from a professional such as a counselor or specialist.

Thought-stopping helps you stop a negative thought to help eliminate stress.
Disproving irrational thoughts helps you to avoid exaggerating the negative thought, anticipating the worst, and interpreting an event incorrectly.

Problem solving helps you identify all aspects of a stressful event and find ways to deal with it.

Changing your communication style helps you communicate in a way that makes your views known without making others feel put down, hostile, or intimidated. This reduces the stress that comes from poor communication. Use the assertiveness ladder to improve your communication style.

Courtesy of Web MD

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