Monday, July 29, 2013


The interior design plan you presented was disapproved, and you have to come up with a new one in two days. The materials you ordered for your event management project are running late, and your client is breathing down your neck. The finance analyst tells you the budget you proposed is not feasible. The software you’ve been working on for a whole week suddenly develops a bug.

Stress. It can weigh heavily on you, and make you want to give up. Don’t let stress get the better of you. Try these proven stress busters.

Emphasize the positive. Focus on the good things that happened during the day, no matter how small, and use the emotion that came with these to get you through. This will lift your mood and make it easier for you to tackle the problems you’re facing.

Phone a friend or loved one. Studies reveal that talking to a good friend or loved one boosts the production of oxytocin, a feel-good hormone that relaxes the mind and body. Spend a few minutes talking about anything you like, not necessarily your stressful situation. When you’re done, you’ll find that your mind is clearer.

Have a good laugh. It’s been said a million times, laughter is the best medicine. One of the many ailments it cures is stress. Share a joke with officemates, look up a funny page on the internet, or read the comics section in the newspaper. Sometimes, even just recalling a good joke you heard long ago will do the trick. Laughing eases bodily tension, so you’ll feel more relaxed when you go back to work.

List down your tasks. If the sheer volume of work is the source of your stress, make a list of the things you have to do. Decide in what order you intend to work on these, and if possible, how you plan to go about each one. Organizing your tasks in a neat to-do list makes it easier for you to focus on each one. Keep the list where you’ll easily see it. With each completed task, cross out the corresponding item in the list. This action alone gives you a feeling of accomplishment, which in turn leaves you feeling more stress-free.

Listen to your favourite relaxing music. While at your desk, plug in your headphones and enjoy the melodies of your favourite composers. Be sure to listen to soothing music. It tends to relax the muscles and cut off the production of the stress hormone cortisol. De-clutter your desk. The mere sight of a desk that’s cluttered with documents can be enough to cause stress. Clear your desk and you clear your mind.

Organise your documents so that those that are relevant to a particular task are bunched together. Place these in a drawer or shelf for quick retrieval when you’ll need them. Throw out anything that you won’t need.

Take a walk. Getting away from your desk can do wonders in clearing your mind. Go out and take a relaxing stroll around the block. Don’t think about the problem that’s causing you stress. Look at the people around you, the foliage, the cafes, anything that will get your mind off the stressful situation. Spend about 15 to 20 minutes just walking around. You’ll find that when you get back to your desk, both your mind and your body are more relaxed.

You may have noticed that these stress busters involve stopping work temporarily. That’s exactly the point. The secret to beating stress is not in confronting it, but in freeing yourself from it. When you’ve experienced that liberation of mind and body, you’ll feel that nothing can stop you from achieving what you have to.

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