Stress management is constantly on my mind. Managing people’s money is a burden, a duty and is very stressful. I’m constantly looking for ways to reduce stress or to combat it before it boils to the surface with unpleasant results. Here are my best reactive and proactive ways to fight stress:
1)Go for a walk every day. Its amazing how walking my dog calms me and lets me focus. It also lets me clear my head and work through tough problems. I remember reading a book on geniuses, including Einstein, Da Vinci and others. They all shared one common activity: walking.
2)Take one day off a week. For me this is Shabbat, the Sabbath. From Friday night to Saturday night, I do not do any work, I don’t turn on my computer and increasingly I do not turn on my cell phone. Why is it so hard to turn off your cell phone just for 24 hours? But, oh how this refreshes me every week.
3)Volunteer at least once a week. The good feelings and positive energy you receive from volunteering with people who need your attention, help and effort is incalculable. Volunteering also helps balance and put your problems in perspective. It also doesn’t allow yourself to keep beating yourself up and making yourself more angry.
4)Monitor your thoughts. Try to constantly keep track of your stream of thoughts to make sure you aren’t about to explode into anger, depression, or a bout of internal stress. I am a full believer that thoughts lead to emotions and you would be amazed how your thoughts can build up to a crescendo and suddenly you are sad or angry and you aren’t sure why. The way to do this is that you immediately reject any thought that is not authentic and is an exaggeration about yourself or the situation. Don’t let your mind escalate a bad situation into a worse one.
5)Take a deep breath. I find that in stressful situations, my breathing will change into short rapid breaths. Stop yourself and take a few big breaths, it will feel really good.
The reason I write this today, is that I’m taking a big step, I’m going to take a Yoga class. It would be great if I could add this to my stress management list. I will let you know.