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​Shifting Your Focus to Manage Stress

Posted by Daniel A. Feers on

Temporarily shifting focus from the source of your anxiety to something non-stressful is a key stress management 

Stress Management Tips and Techniques include shifting one's focus

technique. There are many variations of how to do this successfully. A great example is taking a walk outside the house, working on a non-work related project, or completely changing one's environment temporarily.

Taking your mind off the thing that keeps you up at night gives you the ability to take a break, and experience time for restoration and peace. This is also cortisol lowering technique as well.

Take the example of thinking of about a powerful but currently exciting life goal--something that energizes you, but also something you have not started pursuing yet. One important part of this goal to make this strategy work is to ensure that this desire is absolutely non-negotiable in your life--you will make it happen at some point--you simply have not started with the project or steps to the goal yet. 

Now, identify any portion of this exciting “will-do” pursuit or life goal that you have in mind. Maybe you want to own a smoothie shop on a Caribbean beach, run a horse farm, learn to scuba dive, play piano, or simply start a meaningful relationship with a significant other you have never had or struggle to find. Perhaps you want to learn how to water color. It doesn't matter, as long as it inspires tremendous passion and excitement when you think about it. 

Now, decide on a small step to to move you in the direction of making your dream come true--any small concrete step will do. This might even include simply listing the steps involved on a piece of paper--make that your first step. Indeed, most big dreams require some reading and investigating, and that alone can be exhilarating. 

You might start by plotting a location for your smoothie shop or googling the best watercolor teachers in your area. Just a small step can make you feel like you are making progress toward your dream. This process also gives you a break at the same time from the stressors in your life taking place right now at work or at home.

Start a vision board with photos and images of your magnificent goal as it might look if you were successful. Keep this nearby. Check off the steps as you go. When you are worried and anxious, refer to this healthy distraction of future anticipated goal attainment. Create a project binder and have sections for thoughts, ideas, questions to explore, and real human contacts, mentors, experts, and others you will form relationships with to make this dream come true. 

Start putting together a project schedule that puts tasks in a logical order and gives you reasonable deadlines to complete them.

Give yourself plenty of time to get tasks completed so you won’t add to your anxiety.

Take a break and spend time on your magnificent and exciting life goal any time boredom, worry, or anxiousness take hold. See if you don't feel less trapped in the moment with your thoughts.

Taking small steps toward achieving your dream gives you a little more self-confidence and makes you aware that you do have choices in front of you. Just knowing this alone can help you feel less trapped and more empowered, and that you are not living in a cave or tunnel from which there is no escape.

If you are a counselor, employee assistance professional, or other professional helper, consider an editable Stress Management PowerPoint program as part of your library. One that you can copy, sort slides, and your own tips, and always have a way of offering a stand up presentation on reducing stress that employees can take advantage of. Consider previewing this Stress Management PowerPoint program from WorkExcel.com

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