Thursday, September 15, 2011

How to reduce, if not avoid, stress

Who doesn't need help with this? From the Estrin Report, a blog for paralegals and those who love them.

1.    Figure out what stresses you.  That's right.  Half the time, we don't even recognize it.  For example, it took me a long time to realize that it wasn't going swimming every day that stressed me out.  It was the idea that I had to get in the car, drive 20 minutes to the Y, get changed in the locker room in front of 47 very elderly women, all with bluish gray hair, Cobby Cuddler shoes and bodies a 20 year old would die for.

2.    Eliminate unnecessary commitments.  Why, oh why, do we say yes to things when we mean no?  I don't like having lunch with (Jane).  She bores me to tears.  Yet, I can't say no.  So once a month, I'm off to have lunch with her at a restaurant I don't like, can't afford and swear I won't go to again.  It's unnecessary.  I'll go every six months instead.

3.    Stop multi-tasking:  The buzz word of the '90's and naughts.  Who came up with that word, anyway? Everyone multi-tasks.  It seems to me that if we didn't multi-task, rather did one thing at a time until we've finished it, we might get more done.  I'm getting a little bit tired of talking on the phone, drafting an email, eating my lunch and listening to an eDiscovery webinar all at the same time.  My conversations don't make sense, I make too many typos in my emails, I don't know what I just ate, and furthermore, I haven't a clue what the webinar was about. 

4.    Unschedule.  That's right.  Stop scheduling so much.  Before Outlook days, we used to make a phone call to someone when the urge or need struck us.  Now, we have to compose an email to ask for an appropriate time, send the email, wait for the return reply, go back and forth a bit, book the teleconference and then confirm - spending half an hour just to get 7 minutes with someone on some unimportant confab we didn't need to begin with.  Make an appointment to make the telephone call?  Puleeze.

5.    Avoid difficult people.  Just avoid them.  Who needs that anyway?  Some ranting, raving power hungry person who is plays passive-aggressively in their emails to you - someone who gives you heartburn just because they can?  No to that.  Avoid 'em.    Being nice isn't working anyway and you wouldn't want what you really feel to be in print.  Nope.  No answering here.

6.    Eliminate energy drains.  What is draining your energy?  Eliminate it.  Or them in your life. People who insist on drama, situations that call for much more input than you want to give.  Yep.  Eliminate all of it.  Of course, I consider going to the dentist an energy drain.  I might want to reconsider that.

7.    Help others.  It just gives you a great lift.  I found that by helping others, I felt great.  Even if it was a temporary lift - giving out a scholarship to a course, helping someone with a resume, sending a note with a few names that could help someone who is having a rough time.   All of that.  Takes your focus off of you, even for just a little while.

8.    Slow down. Instead of rushing through life, learn to take things just a little bit slower.  Enjoy your food, enjoy the people around you, enjoy nature.  This step alone can save tons of stress.  Where I live, I see road runners, bunny rabbits, crows,  owls and coyotes.  Never, ever saw that in the big city when I lived there.  Well, ok, so I have to carry pepper spray when I walk the dog in case the coyotes want to come after him.  But the intent is there.

9.    Be grateful.  Developing an attitude of gratitude (I sound like a rapper) is a way of thinking positive, eliminating negative thinking and reduces stress. Learn to be grateful for what you have, for the people in your life, and see it as a gift. With this sort of outlook on life, stress will go down and happiness will go up. What could I possibly be grateful for?  Hmmmm......for one, you took just a few minutes out of your busy day just to read this post.  For that I am grateful and my life is just a little bit less stressful.

Hat tip to Legal Blog Watch.


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