It's official; we are all under more stress today than any time in the past 20 years. So says the latest report from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills released recently.
While some stress can help us to raise our game and strive that little bit harder, too much stress reduces our quality of life, our productivity, and over the long term causes ill health and in extreme cases even death.
With the nation more stressed than ever before, knowing how to de-stress is a vital skill for success and for survival in your job and your life. Here are 10 practical tips on how to cope with stress:
One) Rate how bad your situation is - how bad is it really on a scale of 0-10, where 10 is death?
Two) Stand up and shake your hands vigorously. (Careful of furniture!)
Three) Go somewhere and laugh out loud. Force yourself - it triggers the release of endorphins, the 'happy hormones'.
Four) Take slow deep breaths - in through your nose, hold for three seconds and out through your mouth.
Five) Imagine looking back on this situation in 10 years time. How serious does it seem from that perspective?
Six) Imagine being in your 'ideal location'. Anywhere in the world where you feel deeply relaxed and comforted. Perhaps a favourite beach, a cozy sofa, in your lovers arms, a hug with your mum or your dog, and so on.
Seven) Talk to a friend - ideally face to face, or you can always make a quick phone call.
Eight) Remember that happiness in life is more about how you react to situations than the situations themselves. So choose how you react and choose how you feel.
Nine) Adopt a "positive" body posture. Head up, shoulders back, straight back, walk with confidence and smile - not only will it make you feel more confident, it will make other people wonder what you know and they don't!
10) Reframe the situation. E.g. "That dent in the car is a real pain - at least no one was injured though, and that's why I've got insurance."
These fast and simple exercises can help you stop stressful situations from overwhelming you. More information on each step and further advice on eliminating stress can be found in the latest "Power to Succeed" e-reports at www.DOITSuccessSystem.com.