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Blog: Simplify Your Life
A Proactive Approach To Work Stress

So many times, we ignore situations that stress us out until it's too late. This is especially true at work where we feel less in control of the circumstances that surround us. We let the annoyances and tolerations pile up as we never would in personal relationships -- often to the point that they negatively affect our productivity or our health. But now it's time to reclaim control over your work life!

Recognize The Warning Signs

The first step to cutting stress off at the pass is to identify a stressor as soon as it strikes. Each person has a set of triggers that set them off -- and what causes you anxiety may not be the same thing that sends me into a tailspin. So you have to be the one to know your danger zones. The easiest way to do this is to pay attention to your reactions, and know which signals your body gives off when it is beginning to experience overload. Common signs include:

  • speeding up of your heart rate and/or breathing
  • feeling that you can't focus
  • sense that your head is spinning
  • inability to remember what you wanted to do next
  • your face becoming flushed
  • hands beginning to tingle or shake
  • feeling of tightness in your chest or stomach
  • neckache or backache not related to an actual injury
As soon as you feel one of these symptoms coming on, it's time to stop, step away from all activity, and analyze the situation -- to figure out what is causing you this stress.

Ask Yourself A Few Questions

We all lead crazy, busy lives -- it's an epidemic of the 21st century. This means that any of a number of people, responsibilities, or situations could be causing your stress. Some factors are easily identifiable -- "I'm behind on my house payments" is a clear and obvious stressor. However, stress is also cumulative, and it's often the addition of "one more thing" that pushes you over the edge. You were fine juggling three balls -- but when you added the fourth ball, everything came crashing down. Your job is to figure out which item was the "straw that broke the camel's back" -- so ask yourself:

  • When exactly did I start to feel this pressure or worry?
  • What was I doing right before the feeling came on?
  • What do I wake up thinking about in the middle of the night?
  • Of all the to-do's on my list, which do I enjoy the least?
  • Which to-do would I give up or let go of if I had the chance?
This line of inquiry will help you to find the culprit. Then you have to deal with himů

Make A Plan To Avoid Stress

So now you know where your stress is coming from -- the report that's due next week and you haven't started on it, a boss who likes to drop a project on your desk at 4:45 on a Friday, a co-worker who isn't pulling his or her load. You need to come up with a plan for not only eliminating that stress from your life right now, but also preventing it from returning again later. If the issue involves another person, start by talking it through with him or her -- the people who repeatedly stress you out often don't realize that they are causing you grief. Try to explain your concerns and work out a mutually agreeable solution. If clearing that stressor off your plate requires action on your part (like with the report), sit down and work out a set of steps and a timetable for completing it -- breaking an overwhelming project into smaller steps, then using this process to deal with the next similar project that comes along. Even if the issue seems outside your sphere of control, ask yourself, "What would make this situation easier? How can I keep this from happening in the future?" You might be surprised at the answers you find.

read the original post of this blog

posted on: 12/6/2011 11:30:00 AM by Ramona Creel
category: General Organizing Tips

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Simplify Your Life

by Ramona Creel

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About Ramona:

I have been a Professional Organizer for more than 10 years, I am a NAPO Golden Circle member, and I was the original founder of OnlineOrganizing. I have worked one-on-one with scores of clients and have trained dozens of newbie organizers as they got started in the industry. I provide both hands-on and virtual coaching to help clients improve their organizing skills and simplify their lives. I invite you to visit my website at http://www.RamonaCreel.com, and I challenge you to find one new idea that you can put into practice in your life, to help you become better organized, starting TODAY! I am passionate about coaching folks toward a more balanced, productive, and enjoyable life -- and I firmly believe that if I can do it, so can you!

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