In this hurried world of multitasking and doing more and more with the same amount of resources, stress is inevitable - right? So many of us subscribe to the mentality that if we simply work more, we’ll do better and gain more. What if simply working more only makes us less effective? What if all of the stress we are under was something we could control? What if stress was a choice?

Of course, we wouldn’t pose the question if we didn’t truly believe that it is. Furthermore, we assert that you have the ability to refuse to allow stress to rob you of your daily peace! "How?" you say? Read on.

First, STOP! Slow down, take a breather, clear your schedule (only temporarily) and breathe deep breaths (research shows that deep breaths reduce stress and tension and make thoughts clearer).

Next, follow these simple steps to simplify and de-stress:

Be decisive - make a decision once and follow through quickly so that unresolved decisions cannot wear you down or cause you to second guess yourself.

Determine what is important and spend more energy on those things, letting go of the things that aren’t. If it helps, make a list of all the things going on in your life and see just where your time is going - is it where you want it to be?

Don’t be afraid to say no - remember, it is impossible to do a good job if you are overextended. Typically, a highly successful person (and one who is not under tremendous stress) is also skilled at delegation.

Get rid of clutter - extra distractions are a time killer and make you less efficient. Eliminating clutter where you work, on your computer, and in your home will keep your mind focused on the task at hand. Less IS more.

Create a routine for your day and week - doing the same thing at the same time each day prevents you from spending energy thinking about what you should be doing. Make sure to spend some time on healthy living, like exercise or prayer, which will keep you strong and release tension.

Focus on only one thing at a time - resist the temptation to multitask. In the end, you’ll get two things done much more efficiently by giving each task the attention it needs.

Do your best to not overthink all of this and go for it. Once you get on top of the stressors in your life, stay on top of them. Clearing stress will bring a new brightness and vitality to your life, which will certainly affect those around you, too. Stress is a choice - choose wisely.


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