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Tips For Reducing Your Own Stress
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Tips for Reducing Your Own Stress

Do you ever think about the best ways for reducing your own stress levels? I was thinking about this the other day when I received yet another phone call from a very good friend of mine who has just gone through a break up with her long standing partner. He has been suffering from anxiety and stress and has been off sick from work for nearly six months. My friend has been struggling to cope as she feels that all the efforts that she has made to support him have been rebuffed. I can understand her feelings but as we talked it was very clear that she is directing her energies in the wrong place.

The mistake that my friend has made is that she has been trying to sort out her partner’s problems hoping she can reduce his stress and have a positive effect on her own stress levels. Of course it hasn’t happened. He hasn’t played ball and accuses her of increasing his stress by putting pressure on him. And so it goes on, both of them locked in a cycle of piling stress on each other.

So what can you do if you find yourself in a position where you feel that your stress is being caused by someone else?

Don’t try to change someone else’s behaviour

Accept that you can never change someone else’s behaviour, you can only change your reaction to it. It doesn’t matter if the stress comes from a work colleague, a partner, a child, a parent, you need to see what you can do differently. Recognise the trigger points and find some strategies which will help you to respond more positively and reduce your own stress levels

Don’t assume you have the solutions

It’s a common mistake to assume that if you’re close to someone and they’re experiencing problems that you may have a suitable solution for them. It may be difficult but people make their own choices and will often do things that you don’t agree with. It may not be easy but you need to concentrate on implementing solutions for yourself.

Identify the root of the problem

You may be feeling stressed because of someone else, but you need to get to the root of the problem. Not theirs – yours! What is it about their behaviour or the situation that is causing your stress? This may not always be obvious. In my friend’s case she has continually focussed on her partner not taking her advice. However, the root problem of her stress is the precarious financial situation she now finds herself in and it is that she needs to focus on. Improving that situation will significantly reduce her stress.

Don’t play the blame game

Don’t waste time or energy on playing the blame game or saying ‘if only...’ What’s happened has happened and the only way you can move forward is to focus on positive steps that you can take which will reduce your stress. Don't waste time in indulging in a lot of negative self-talk or blaming someone else.

Summary

Remember the best way for reducing your own stress is to concentrate on yourself, identify the real root of the problems and find suitable solutions. There are lots of practical tips that you can follow to reduce your stress. It’s important that you find something that works for you.


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