December 3 2007 day 53 - When stress does a number...

“Fall Down Seven Times, Get up Eight”
-Japanese Proverb

I’m sure all of you have had several bouts with stress. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of you would even say you’re fighting a losing battle. Even as an experienced coach, I’m not invincible against stress. I’ve lost a few battles myself.

The important thing is that I never give up- neither should you. Since stress is a constant thing we have to face, you should apply the Japanese proverb I quoted above. “Fall Seven times, get up Eight”. Don’t let stress get the best of you.

Here are 5 Steps to Overcome Stress

      1. Find the silver lining in every stressful event. There’s almost always something positive in every situation. But if you can’t see anything positive, try to see it from another angle. Try to find humour in your everyday hassles to lighten things up. Don’t take everything too seriously.
      1. Find time for what’s really important. This is vital, especially for all the workaholics out there. If you have a demanding job, then you should practice separating your work from your personal life. People who take their work problems home tend to feel more stressed. Does this make them more productive? No, not really. In fact, studies show that employees who don’t work at home are more productive in the office and are better able to contribute ideas.  Whatever your job is, you should find time to do things you love. Life is too short to worry about your boss and the deadlines you have at work. Do yourself a favour and set time aside to do one thing your really love. Trust me, it will do you the world of good.
      1. Be grateful for what you have. I know this advice is such a cliché but it’s so true. Remembering what is good in life and your achievements will make you feel good, especially when you’re stressed. Recalling positive memories also releases ‘feel good’ hormones in your body.
      1. Don’t punish yourself. Things aren’t always your fault. And even if it is, punishing yourself won’t help the situation. Instead of moping around, try talking to a friend to release your emotions. Talking helps a lot because it helps you release your pent-up emotions, helping you think logically again. After letting it all out, you’ll be on your way to coming up with a solution to your problem.
      1. Adjust your expectations. I’m not telling you to lower your standards. What I’m saying here is you shouldn’t always strive for perfection. Instead of aiming for perfection, set a reasonable standard for yourself and others around you. Then continuously improve upon what you have. Working your way to the top is easier and less stressful, compared to expecting to get things perfectly the first time.

Stress is a notorious killer. If you want to succeed in life, you should never let stress bring you down. After all, is what you are stressing about really that important? If not, then let it go. You’ll be happy you did. Follow the steps above and stay ahead of the battle against stress.


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Paul Bailey

Paul is a highly experienced Business Coach, Mentor and Personal Development Specialist. He works with people to enhance business and personal performance through a process of supported self-awareness and self- development. Paul is the Co-Author of the book 80 Tips.