Finding time to reduce stress repays you with greater focus, energy and creativity. Don’t wait another minute to exercise your power to increase your pleasure!
Stress Reduction Technique #1: Setting boundaries: Make this a game. Every boundary you set that wins you time ‘earns’ you that amount of time for something you truly enjoy. For example, by checking your email only once a day, how much time will you save? Dedicate those saved minutes for a time treat, something you enjoy that fits within that time frame. Make a list of time treats in advance, and reward yourself immediately after each success. You will be pleasantly surprised how much easier it will be to set boundaries when you know you’ll benefit right away! Do this daily for a month to establish a healthy habit.
Stress Reduction Technique #2: Glass half full: For a new twist on cultivating optimism, buy a set of small note cards. At the beginning of each day, jot a quick thank you note to someone who has brightened your life in some way. You will relive the kindness as you write about it. And you maintain healthier connections when you let people know you appreciate them. To further enhance this powerful exercise, use ‘dead time’ (while waiting at a stoplight, for example), to think of people you’d like to thank. Focus on the sending out. If you get a response, consider that an extra!
Stress Reduction Technique #3: Affirmations and Visualizations: How much time do you spend unhappily ruminating over someone’s thoughtless words to you? To convert stress to strength, capitalize on how your brain can focus on just one image at a time. Each time you visualize and affirm your inherent worth, your grievance recedes from center stage. Then use the senses that are most evocative for you to create your ideal inner space. Recall uplifting music, personal successes, warm interchanges or favorite sayings. Then fully absorb the pleasure.
Each of these exercises focuses your power to manage your time and your thoughts in health-enhancing ways. Recalling kindness, expressing appreciation, reaching out to others, and affirmations all flood your body with endorphins that lower stress. You reinforce your awareness of how much power you possess to make yourself happy, no matter what others may do.
Remember, no amount of time is too short to reduce stress and increase your pleasure. As these stress-reduction exercises prove, energy turnarounds needn’t be difficult to be enormously effective.
What further ways can you enhance your time management skills and utilize creative stress reduction techniques?