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Nine Strategies Successful People Use to Overcome Stress

https://lifehacker.com/nine-strategies-successful-people-use-to-overcome-stres-5976310

lifehacker.com

Nine Strategies Successful People Use to Overcome Stress
Feeling stressed? Of course you are. You have too much on your plate, deadlines are looming, and people are counting on you. You are under a lot of pressure-so much that at times, you suspect the quality of your work suffers for it. This is life in the modern workplace.

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Have Self-Compassion

Have Self-Compassion

Self-compassion is being willing to look at your mistakes or failures with kindness and understanding—without harsh criticism or defensiveness. 

Most of us believe that we need to be hard on ourselves to perform at our best, but it turns out that a dose of self-compassion when things are at their most difficult can reduce your stress and improve your performance, by making it easier to learn from your mistakes. 

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Remember the "Big Picture"

Remember the "Big Picture"

Thinking Big Picture about the work you do can be very energizing in the face of stress and challenges because you are linking one particular, often small action to a greater meaning or purpose. 

Something that may not seem important or valuable on its own gets cast in a whole new light. 

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Rely on Routines

Rely on Routines

Every time you make a decision, you create a state of mental tension that is, in fact, stressful. 

The solution is to reduce the number of decisions you need to make by using routines. If there's something you need to do every day, do it at the same time every day. Have a routine for preparing for your day in the morning, and packing up to go home at night. Simple routines can dramatically reduce your experience of stress. 

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Do Something You Find Interesting

Do Something You Find Interesting

Interest doesn't just keep you going despite fatigue, it actually replenishes your energy.  Keep in mind:

  • Interesting is not the same thing as pleasant, fun, or relaxing (though they are certainly not mutually exclusive.) 
  • Interesting does not have to mean effortless. So you actually don't have to "take it easy" to refill your energy.

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Add Where and When to Your To-Do List

Add Where and When to Your To-Do List

To the tasks on your to-do list, add a specific when and where to each. Try the if-then planning (or the  "implementation intentions").

For example, "Remember to call Bob" becomes "If it is Tuesday after lunch, then I'll call Bob." This enables you to seize the critical moment and make the call, even when you are busy doing other things. 

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Use If-Then Statements

Use If-Then Statements

If-then plans can help us control our emotional responses to stress. Simply decide what kind of response you would like to have instead of feeling stress, and make a plan that links your desired response to the situations that tend to raise your blood pressure.

For example, "If I see lots of emails in my inbox, then I will stay calm and relaxed," or, "If a deadline is approaching, then I will keep a cool head."

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Be Good Vs. Get Better Mindset

Be Good Vs. Get Better Mindset
  • When you have a Be-Good mindset, you expect to be able to do everything perfectly right out of the gate, and you constantly (often unconsciously) compare yourself to other people.
  • A Get-Better mindset leads to self-comparison and a concern with making progress—how well are you doing today, compared with how you did yesterday, last month, or last year? 

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The Progress Principle

The Progress Principle

The idea that it's the "small wins" that keep us going, particularly in the face of stressors.

It can be enormously helpful to take a moment and reflect on what you've accomplished so far before turning your attention to the challenges that remain ahead.

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Promotion Or Prevention

Promotion Or Prevention
  • Some people think of their jobs as opportunities for achievement and accomplishment—they have a promotion focus: all about maximizing gains and avoiding missed opportunities. 
  • For others, doing a job well is about security, about not losing the positions they've worked so hard for. This prevention focus places the emphasis on avoiding danger, fulfilling responsibilities, and doing what feel you ought to do. It's about minimizing losses, trying to hang on to what you've got.

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Those that feel they are in control over their lives also feel stress and anxiety, but they use this anxiety differently: their anxiety fuels passion instead of pity, drive in lieu of despair, and tenacity over trepidation.

Expect and prepare for change

Set aside some time regularly to create a list of important changes that you think could possibly happen. The purpose of this task is to open your mind to change and sharpen your ability to spot and respond to changes. 

Even if the events on your lists never happen, the practice of anticipating and preparing for change will give you a greater sense of command over your future.

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High-pressure moments as a (fun) challenge

Most people see "pressure situations" as threatening, and that makes them perform even less well. 

But, "when you see the ...

One of many opportunities

Is this high-pressure situation a good opportunity? Sure. Is it the only opportunity you will ever have for the rest of your life? Probably not.

Before an interview or a big meeting, give yourself a pep talk: "I will have other interviews" (or presentations or sales calls). 

Focus on the task

Instead of worrying about the outcome, worry about the task at hand.

That means developing tunnel vision. When you keep your eye on the task at hand (and only the task at hand), all you can see is the concrete steps necessary to excel.