5 Ways to Reduce Your Stress

Even though the holiday and holy day season is over, there are probably still significant stressers you’re experiencing.  Sad to say, it’s part of our culture today!

I follow a blog by Greg McKeown, a writer for the Harvard Business Review.  He has some very insightful comments, especially for a young man, which have been published on LinkedIn.  I’ve read his book, “Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less,” which is now a business best seller.  In our world of “Do it all,” there are times when we really need to say “no” to things that are not essential to foster and develop relationships, as well as our personal well-being.

His blog post titled “Reduce Your Stress in Two Minutes a Day” caught my attention a few years ago, since reducing stress is something my doctor told me I should do.  I even took a short course my employer offers online about it.  It was a Stephen Covey video about planning, and making time for the big things before the little things overwhelm us.  Excellent advice…except that it emphasizes “Weekly Planning.”  You know what I discovered?  Sales is one of the most stressful occupations because sales folks can’t plan from week to week.  We have to plan month to month, especially if we’re traveling to different places every week.  The stress really sets in when you’re in one city, and receive a call from another potential customer 10 hours away via car that wants to talk to you the next day.  Do I put them off for 3 weeks when I’ll be back in the area and risk losing the sale, or do I pay $1,000 for an airline ticket, and blow my expense budget?  There is no easy answer.  Compound that with the typical stresses of family, taking care of children and/or aging parents, finances, home repairs, not to mention what you follow on social media, and the stress level goes through the roof.  2 minutes a day?  I had to check it out.

I can carve out 2 minutes, sure.  So I visited the blog and saw five ways to do it.  Immediately, my systems thinking kicks in and says, “You know what?  Each of these are great on their own, but when they’re combined to function as a system, the results can be profound.”  That means 10 minutes a day.  But it’s worth it.

The only thing I’d substitute is “prayer” for “meditation,” but if you consider that your entire day should be a prayer, meditation could be that time that you’re simply quiet, and allow God to speak to you.

You can visit Greg’s blog on his Web site at http://gregmckeown.com/blog/reduce-your-stress-in-two-minutes-a-day and read the article.  Perhaps subscribe to his site.  You may get to the point that one of my co-workers has reached.  The “tag line” in her email signature states, “I’m too blessed to be stressed.”

© Michael V. Ziemski, SchoolAdvancement, 2012-2019