By knowing how to act rather than react to stress, you can handle stress before it becomes an issue.
In every situation that happens, prioritize it. Ask yourself if the situation is yours to handle. Too many of us deal with things that we don’t have to deal with. We take on other people’s stress. We handle things for friends, a spouse and coworkers that we shouldn’t take on.
It can be tempting to want to help and to want to fix someone else’s stress, but that’s a way to quickly become overwhelmed and stressed yourself!
“Don’t take on situations that you already know will have a stressful outcome.
For example, if every time you visit a certain relative that you don’t get along with, and your stress levels hit the ceiling, don’t visit.
Or arrange the visit where you have control of the outcome – such as not inviting him or her to your home, but going to theirs instead so that you can quickly get out when you need to.
Take action steps to handle stress before it happens by identifying where you feel the pressure start to build.
If you know that you’re going to be pressed for time, then look at what has to be done.
Use to-do lists and pare it down to only the necessities to get you through that day or week.
Let go of things that don’t matter in the long run for your health or happiness.
Give yourself extra time to accomplish tasks and learn to say no to things – and people – that will eat up time to the point you know it will cause stress to begin.
Don’t focus on the things that you can’t control.
For example, if you have a joint project with a colleague and you’re ready with your part, but he isn’t, don’t focus on what he didn’t do.
All you’re responsible for is what you were supposed to do. Let that person suffer the consequences rather than you suffering the stress.
When you know that a situation is coming up that has the potential to turn stressful, take the time to write out a list of possible solutions.
For example if you’ve heard that your company is going to be laying people off, instead of worrying about it, write down all of the steps that you’ll take if it does happen.
“Once you do that, let it go. You’re prepared!
Don’t give in to negative “what if” thinking. You don’t want to attempt to cross bridges before you even come to them.
You might find that the bridge never even appears in your life and you don’t want to waste time needlessly.