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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.
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.
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.
Interest doesn't just keep you going despite fatigue, it actually replenishes your energy. Keep in mind:
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.
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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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.
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.
Most people see "pressure situations" as threatening, and that makes them perform even less well.
But, "when you see the ...
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).
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.