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Estrin Report: 9 Ways to Stop Stressing Out

Last week on the Estrin Report, which is aimed at professional paralegals, Chere Estrin wrote about the topic of stress and how to deal with it. Estrin says she was feeling stressed out herself, and decided to do some research to see if she could uncover any useful mechanisms to deal with this. Finding only worn-out ideas such as "take a walk outside" that didn't help her much, Estrin says she came up with nine ways of her own to eliminate stress in her life. 

Some of her ideas seem particularly helpful to me:

1. Figure out what stresses you. That's right. Half the time, we don't even recognize it.  For example, it took me a long time to realize that it wasn't going swimming every day that stressed me out.  It was the idea that I had to get in the car, drive 20 minutes to the Y, get changed in the locker room in front of 47 very elderly women, all with bluish gray hair, Cobby Cuddler shoes and bodies a 20 year old would die for.

I have found this same tactic to be useful to me, as well. The next time that you feel particularly stressed, step back and ask yourself: What, exactly, am I stressed about right now? Sometimes when you break this down and articulate it, you then realize that either: (a) this issue is not worthy of the stress I am attaching to it; or (b) I can address this issue by doing X.

2. Eliminate unnecessary commitments. Why, oh why, do we say yes to things when we mean no? I don't like having lunch with (Jane).  She bores me to tears. Yet, I can't say no.  So once a month, I'm off to have lunch with her at a restaurant I don't like, can't afford and swear I won't go to again. It's unnecessary. I'll go every six months instead.

Another good one. Are you stressed because you need to accomplish five things by Wednesday? You'd be less stressed if you only had to accomplish two things. Guard against unnecessary time commitments vigilantly.

5. Avoid difficult people. Just avoid them. Who needs that anyway? Some ranting, raving power hungry person who is plays passive-aggressively in their emails to you - someone who gives you heartburn just because they can? No to that. Avoid 'em. Being nice isn't working anyway and you wouldn't want what you really feel to be in print. Nope. No answering here.

 6. Eliminate energy drains. What is draining your energy? Eliminate it. Or them in your life. People who insist on drama, situations that call for much more input than you want to give. Yep.  Eliminate all of it. Of course, I consider going to the dentist an energy drain.  I might want to reconsider that.

I would group these two tips together because difficult people are also massive energy drains. In short, difficult, miserable people need to be weeded out of your life (or completely ignored, according to people like James Altucher) because they will take you down with them like an anchor handed to a swimmer. This is not always easy to do if the difficult person is presently intertwined in your life somehow, but, if so, start finding a path today that does not involve that person.

You can read all of Estrin's thoughts on how to better handle stress here.

Posted by Bruce Carton on September 1, 2011 at 12:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)


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