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Yesterday (April 16th) was National Stress Awareness Day in the United States.

For me, today (April 17th) was a day that I certainly didn’t need to be made more aware of STRESS – it was everywhere around me, and there is no question I felt it welling up inside me, too.

Dealing with stress is one of those lessons that life just teaches you along the way. But if you can learn from other people’s experiences, perhaps there is a greater chance you won’t let it get the better of you.

In a work environment, taking time to “chill out” is challenging. It certainly helps to have several techniques under your belt to create a stress-busting routine.

Remember…
“You can only change the things you can control. You cannot control external events – only the way you react to them.” Epictetus, circa 70AD

The following is a summary of a post by Judy Martin, an emmy award-winning broadcast journalist, speaker, consultant and trainer, specialising in the field of stress management. You can follow her at http://www.JudyMartinSpeaks.com

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To get a handle on stress, it helps to build up an arsenal of tools so you can harness a little “inner chill” when you need it most.

1. Take a few deep breaths

It’s not about a quick breath to calm you down, it’s about the science of the breath. Take deep breaths throughout the day, in through the nose, and out through the mouth.

2. Take a break from office gossip

It’s important to cultivate healthy relationships at work, but diving into the trashing and bashing of fellow colleagues, managers and office politics just feeds negativity, is a time waster and induces stress.

3. Recharge with physical activity

Even just a walk outside around your building or some seated yoga postures are beneficial.

4. Modify your environment

Change your working conditions. Work from a conference room, head outside for a bit, or telecommute for a day.

5. Focus on the positive by journaling

Try journaling once a week at a scheduled time. Reflect on some of the better moments at work or in your career.

6. Cultivate a contemplative practice

Slow things down by taking time to read some inspirational material in the middle of your work day.

7. Get a handle on your info-intake

Limit checking and responding to e-mails that don’t need immediate attention. Inform clients and colleagues of your patterns.

8. Create some work-life flexibility

How you determine your work-life flexibility strategy is an individual journey.

9. Focus on meaningful communication

Poor communication creates frustration, can result in inefficient interactions and can lead to stress.

10. Do a time management check

How we manage our time is a huge part of the puzzle to reduce stress.

11.Take in visual soul food

Surf the web or YouTube for comforting videos. Nature or animal videos are easily found on the web, and are generally relaxing to watch.

12. Listen to relaxing music

Classical music might not be for everyone but studies show that it has a relaxing effect on brain waves. Relaxing music induces an alpha state which reduces stress.

Read the full article at 12-most

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Geoffrey James, whose “Sales Source” is the world’s most visited blog, also recently listed 6 tips to reduce stress in daily business dealings.

1. Create an Oasis

In the past, people worked 9 to 5; in today’s business environments, there’s pressure to work (or at least be available) 24/7. Needless to say, that pressure generates oodles of stress.

2. Find the ‘Sweet Spots’

Having a overlong to-do list can a huge source of stress, because it feels like you can never get them those tasks completed. Here’s a thought: Why bother?

3. Renegotiate Your Workload

Unreasonable expectations of what you’re capable of accomplishing are a huge source of stress–regardless of whether those expectations come from yourself, from your boss, or from your customers.

4. Turn Off the News

The news media, like every other form of entertainment, makes money by producing strong emotions in its audience. Outside business news, those emotions are almost exclusively negative: anger, fear, anxiety, dread, and frustration.

5. Disconnect from the Uncontrollable

There are always events that you simply can’t control: the economy, traffic, politics, other people’s emotions, customer decisions, and so forth.

6. Avoid Stressed People

Although it may not be possible to avoid stressed people all the time, you should try, as far as possible, to limit your contact with such people–at least until you’ve conquered your own stress.

Read his article at inc.com

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