I was chatting with some of my engineer friends on some engineering WhatsApp forum. Suddenly a topic came up regarding stress management.
I shared with my friends some of the ways that I use to manage stress. That stirred up a good discussion. Below is the summary arising from that discussion and for that I would like to thank my friends who enriched this on the forum, Washington Chimuzu, Gift Esau, Tisu Thaulo, Veronica Mvula and Phideria Clara Moyo, among other engineers on the forum.
Below are the seven things you need to do to proactively manage stress in 2020!
1. Exercise: It is well known that when you exercise, especially in the morning, you give your body a good positive kick and that way you create a positive outlook for yourself for the day. Even at chemical level, regular exercises are proven to produce positive body chemicals that maintain good health and give you positive outlook. Remember that for exercise to be effective, you need to do sessions lasting 40 minutes or longer at least three times a week.
2. Music: Music helps to relax and reflect. Everyone has his or her choice. Make it a habit, at least once in a week, to find good time to listen to your favourite music for a good two hours continuous or longer. Reflect on the music or simply enjoy the music in a relaxed mood and environment. This way, you will forget about all your problems.
3. Ignore stressful people: This sounds a bit strong —but good medicine is at times strong. Have you observed that in work places, in business even at personal level, there are some people who just like to bring to you stress? Run away from them. Literally, avoid unnecessary contact with them. If it is your boss, surely you cannot run away but find ways to discuss with the boss to chart a more positive relationship although this doesn’t always work. You may have to move jobs within or even outside if all others measures fail. But do not live in a constantly stressing environment for ever. Life is meant to be enjoyed.
4. Priorities: Sometimes, we are stressed due to sheer amount of workload that we have. But, is it all necessary and all needed today? Go through your to-do list and cancel out all the unnecessary actions. Delay the actions that can wait and then find a good pace for closing the actions. You will find great relief and peace. I do this exercise many times every week and it helps me to maintain positive moods in spite of having to do so much every week.
5. Positive outlook: I like to say that most time happiness is a choice. Do you choose to be happy? Why be sad? There is so much to celebrate in life. Is the non-full bottle half full or half empty for you? If it is half empty, try a paradigm shift and always look at it as half full. Forget the empty half and focus on the full half and enjoy!
6. Rest: Do you rest enough? Sleep enough? Remember that when we sleep, the body undergoes a lot of necessary refreshing and cleansing processes. We all need typically more than seven hours of sleep every day. If you squeeze, do not go below six hours. Constant deprivation of sleep means that your body will fail to clear the stress hormones and this means that you are likely to feel stressed up most of the times.
7. Hobbies: Spend time doing things you like, for example gardening, art and so on.
8. Reboot: Many people like to take time off work or business completely, for a ‘shut down and reboot’ process.
9. Friends: Do you have an inner circle of friends that you can confide in and share with them issues that stress you? Not those that will then amplify the stress!
10.Prayer and meditation: In the end, remember that prayers solve all our problems. Prayer for peace gives peace. Combine that with meditation then you are good! All the best as you best manage your stress levels in 2020, this way, you will rise and shine!