Thursday, January 14, 2016

4 small steps for instant stress reduction.

Learn that stress reduction comes in small ways and benefit daily.

Where I learned small, daily fixes for stress

Years ago I read The One Minute Manager. I have a vague overview of how the book went. There were instructions on one minute praising and one minute reprimands. But what I remember the most was the instruction of taking care of yourself by recognizing and fixing small irritants.

The example he gave was of a man driving home and peering through a dirty windscreen. Suddenly he realized he'd been complaining to himself about that window for weeks. Take care of yourself echoed in his head. He pulled into a car wash, cleaned the car and windshield and drove home a happier man. (Note: It is now The New One Minute Manager)

Small bites are the trick

We cannot, at a whim, take a two month vacation, buy a bigger house, change jobs, or take a trip to an exotic locale, but we can become aware of small irritants in our life and fix them. Those little events like constantly having to search for our car keys. Take a minute, put a hook or nail inside the coat closet, and use it. Feel your morning stress go down a notch. (And continue to notice on a daily basis - do not take it for granted.)

4 small self-care steps

Those tiny fixes in the midst of our ordinary days, work to reduce stress.

1)  Do something special for yourself.

Maybe a special coffee (no, not a take out). After making ech sounds over my usual coffee for weeks, I bought a lovely, smooth blend of Nabob, and after the first sip it's aahhhh not ech.

2) Take time to fix small things. 

After moving a container with my amethysts in it from drawer to box and back for a years, I finally found a necklace ribbon (in the same box) to put the largest one on. That was yesterday. It took me maybe five minutes. But left me feeling satisfied all day.

3) Get creative with what you can do for yourself.

Today I remembered that I've been frustrated by the inability to get earrings into my earlobe holes.
I've been saying for months I might need them re-pierced. This morning I took my blunt, wool-darning needle and tried to find the tiny holes. Low and behold they were NOT grown over - just shrunken. I pushed in the needle as far as I comfortably could and shortly thereafter got hooks into my ears.

4) Do what you know has worked in the past. 

As a writer, my morning pages fall into this category  I'd been going to get back to them for years. Since I've done so, my mind runs creatively riotous every day. (Okay it's 15 minutes - but you know what I mean.)  

 Results - feel calm, confident and capable.
  • A shot of calm pleasure with my morning coffee sets a positive tone for the day.
  • My necklace lets me feel more "put together" - and more confident in my appearance.
  • I feel frugal (didn't have to pay) and capable since I did it myself
  • I am getting pages and pages written on my book in progress - a competent writer at work.

What is your most common irritant. How can you fix it?

What small repair jobs, what seemingly minor tasks, have been unconsciously bugging you?
 Pick a few - execute and reduce your stress.

Please let us know how this works for you.