Stress? I have NO clue what you're talking about

Stress gotcha down? Read highlights from a recent workshop I attended (plus thoughts from yours truly) below. I went to a great workshop today called "Accomplishing More with Less," led by Pierre Khawand from People on the Go. It was chock-full of great time management and organization techniques, but the part I found most useful was the portion on stress reduction and stress management.

Three categories of stress: 1.    We have unfinished or unresolved items hanging over us 2.    When things or people are not the way we want them to be 3.    When we are overly concerned about what happened in our past or might happen in our future

The Assumption Wheel (Five steps to break something stressful into manageable chunks):

  1. Data: What are the facts? (focus on real data)
  2. Mind: How am I interpreting those facts? What assumptions am I making? Also includes opinions, conclusions.
  3. Feelings: How do I feel about the situation?
  4. Wants: What do I want? (Usually something deeper than the first answer that comes to mind)
  5. Actions: What do I do about the situation?

One of the main takeaways for me was that stress often comes from irrational beliefs that something should be a certain way, or that people should act in ways that are consistent with what we want. Pierre gave a helpful reminder to the class: we have more control over the action we take than the beliefs or feelings we hold. During stressful times, it's important to step back, look at the situation from a fresh perspective, and identify actions that will move you forward (rather than spin in circles about why something or someone is the way it is). This makes us more creative, and puts us in a better position to move forward and influence situations.

The final technique from the workshop for dealing with stress is the tried and true (but often difficult to put in practice) method of being in the present moment. In Pierre's words, "Only by noticing what’s happening now can we influence the future."

I have a few other stress strategies up my sleeve...check out Stress Happens...Whaddaya Gonna Do About It? for more tips. Sneak preview of the five steps mentioned in my earlier post: Recognize, Breathe, Walk, Write, and Forgive.

Ultimately we're all different (insight of the year!) and stress will rear its head in a variety of ways. I'd love to hear your strategies for managing stress in the comments.