Stress Management: Tips, Techniques, and Strategies


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Work got you at the end of your rope? Try these innovative tips for feeling better and being more productive.


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Stress Management: Tips, Techniques, and Strategies

  1. 1. TIPS FOR LIVING WELL EVERY DAY Tame technology – The 24/7 availability of technology such as email has done a great deal to increase the stress level of women everywhere. Having a means of being reached at any time, by numerous methods (text, phone, email) means that you are in a constant state of heightened stress. Set limits on your electronic availability by turning off or limiting the times of day when you “plug in.” These periods of electronic disengagement will allow you to connect with others socially, exercise, and pursue hobbies, all of which have been proven to combat stress. Damsel in Eustress – One common misconception is that stress is always the result of negative events. Recently, a female executive was crying in my office, unable to pinpoint the reason for her feelings of anxiety. As I learned more, she revealed that she was overseeing a number of expansion projects at work, preparing for a wedding, and readying herself for a move. Although each of these things was positive, the cumulative effect of all of this positive change was quite stressful. Remember, the body cannot distinguish “eustress” (literally, good stress) from bad stress, so be sure to take a moment to relax, even when things are going your way. As a Woman Thinketh – Too often, we accept the fact that things just “are” and that we have little control over our lives. Viktor Frankl said it best, “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and freedom.” The things that happen to you can be as positive or negative as you construe them to be. If you choose to interpret life events in an upbeat and optimistic manner, you will position yourself for success in all areas, and achieve that success with calm confidence. Little Comfort – It is a strange paradox that all of the so-called “comfort foods” have the very opposite of the desired effect on stress levels. Caffeine causes elevations in heartrate and respiration that can mimic a panic attack. Alcohol depresses our mood and impairs decision making, and eating fatty foods provides a brief period of pleasure followed by sustained periods of regret and lethargy. While we understand that an evening run or a healthy meal may be advisable, our short-sighted bodies tell us differently in times of stress or sadness. The next time you are feeling down, let your brain drive your decision- making; your body will thank you later.
  2. 2. Fake Out – Have you ever heard the old saying, “fake it ‘till you make it?” Well, it turns out that science substantiates this pithy phrase. In the past, the conventional psychological wisdom was that we felt a certain way, and then exhibited behaviors that conveyed that emotion. Put simply, “I’m happy, therefore I smile.” What more research has found, is that the opposite is also true – “I smile, therefore I’m happy.” Research subjects who were instructed to smile, regardless of whether or not they were actually happy, saw an increase in mood. This recent evidence suggests that being proactive, maintaining a schedule, and acting happy can start to improve a negative mood. It turns out that, some of the times you feel least like acting upbeat are the times it could benefit you most. ABOUT DR. CROSBY Dr. Daniel Crosby is a licensed psychologist and President of Crosby Performance Consulting. Dr. Crosby holds B.S. and Ph.D. degrees, both in Psychology from Brigham Young University. Daniel has consulted with organizations of all sizes, from Fortune 100 financial institutions to family-owned small businesses. Dr. Crosby offers a number of services including pre-employment talent assessment, executive coaching, team building, and organizational talent audit. Daniel is also an accomplished public speaker who has presented on elements of high performance teams, the psychology of risk, change management, and improving persuasive ability, among a host of other topics. In 2007, Daniel was awarded the Viktor Frankl Institute Scholarship, presented by the Frankl family and the City of Vienna, Austria, for his work involving the application of Dr. Frankl's theories to diverse populations. Daniel, his wife Katrina and their daughter Charlotte live in Huntsville, Alabama. His avocational interests include St. Louis Cardinals baseball, playing the guitar, reading and watching independent films.