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Make Stress Work for You

Stress can come from all directions. We live in a stress-filled world. Rather than only looking for ways to change the stress-filled situations, look for stress that can work for you. These strategies are concrete suggestions to make stress work in your favor.

Organize. Disorganization creates stress. Taking the "dis" out of disorganization can produce a sense of control in knowing what will happen, that in turn reduces stress.

Create environments that reduce stress. Colors of the walls, floor coverings, and furniture can reduce stress. Hues such as cooling greens and blues are positive colors that can reduce stress and create a sense of well-being.

Use stress as a teacher. As a crisis occurs, stop and think of how to use it to make things better. Make lemonade out of the lemons in life.

Leave time for the unexpected. Look for the natural coping ability to deal with the unexpected. Coping requires time. Time is needed to perceive a crisis and to rally our internal and external resources.

Choose friends carefully. Your choice of friends can be the key to stress reduction. Friends should be people who help us to increase our strengths and create innovative solutions to stressful situations. They support us and reaffirm that we are not alone.

Stop and look at yourself. Take time to recognize signs of stress like anger, over extension in outside activities, work and sleep habits. As you become aware of these signs, you are beginning to identify how to make stress work. You are being proactive not reactive to situations.

Accept what cannot be changed. We can accept what we cannot change by changing what we can. Make choices that are realistic, not out of reach.

Don’t say yes to everything. Recognize what your strengths are and focus on taking the time to do a project built on them. Taking on too many projects results in loss of control and creates stress.

Make decisions. Indecision increases stress. Good leaders make decisions and act on them. If a bad decision is made, reevaluate.

Maintain a sense of humor. Laughing at oneself can release potential stress from the inside. And laughing creates less wrinkles than worrying.

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