Stress Part 1: Stop letting stress steal your joy

texting tooStress is a part of everyone’s life, but the high levels of stress we experience are extremely dangerous.  Chronic stress can lead to all kinds of diseases, negatively impacts our relationships, and taints even our best experiences. For example, many of us even dread the holidays because this season adds extra heartburn rather than being a time to relax and renew with family and friends and take joy in familiar rituals.

Stress is a killer of joy. So why do we make the choice every day to let joy be killed? Yes, there are times when stress is outside our control, but chronic stress is an accumulation of those things that we can control and those things that we can’t. When we work on reducing the things we can control, managing our overall stress is much easier. One easy way to do this is to stop letting your phone and email be your master.

Stress Reducer Tip #1: Turn off your notifications! Text and emails come in all day long, and, like Pavlov’s dog, we jump to respond.  Research shows that this type of multitasking makes us less productive, but more importantly it adds stress to our day. Go into your phone or email settings and turn those notifications off!  If you can’t figure out your setting find the nearest young person and set them to the task. Then start to manage expectations for yourself and others by letting it be known that you only check your messages at a set time each day, but if they have something urgent to tell you than they can call you or swing by your office.  By doing this we take control over our day and the stress we allow in our lives.

Let me know if this is something that resonates with you and, if you give it a whirl, how it worked for you. Good luck!

For more post in this series check out  Stress Part 2:What if it is your circus and those are your monkeysStress Part 3:Sometimes you have to rethink the whole thing.  Stress Part 4: Don’t feed the stress. 

photo credit: Texting on a Tractor via photopin (license)

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