Top 10 Ways to Eliminate Stress
Tuesday, December 03, 2013
Posted by: Dr. Alan Zimmerman
Dr. Zimmerman's TUESDAY TIP:
"Here’s what I learned. When
we’re all stressed out, that’s when we need to take the time to celebrate
what’s right with the world. When I least feel like celebrating is when I most
founder of Tastefully Simple
Dr. Alan Zimmerman's Personal
Ahh. The holidays. The most joyful time of the year.
At least that's what we're told.
In reality, this time of the year has become the most stressful
time of the year. And for many people, maintaining a healthy work-life
balance has become more of a fantasy than a reality. That's why I'm
offering my webinar on December 12th, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. ET on "Take This Job and Love It: Keeping Your
Balance In A Stressed-Out World."
But I don't want to make you wait until December 12th to get
started on your stress-prevention and your work-life balance tool kit. So
here are ten skills you can use right now.
1. Do only the most
People say to me, "I’ve got my friends, my family, my company
party, my church, decorating to do, gifts to buy, food to cook, and dozens of
other activities during the holiday season. They all seem important.
So how do I take your advice and do only the most important things?"
First, all the people in your life are NOT equally important.
Focus on the folks who mean the most to you and get to the others later
in the year.
Second, all the activities on your holiday schedule are NOT
equally important. Select three activities that would bring the most
meaning to this season for YOU. Make sure you do those three things and
don’t add anything else to your schedule unless you truly have the time and
2. Practice an attitude of
At the same time it’s all too easy to get stressed out during the
holidays, it's also easy to get somewhat negative during the holidays.
But you can eliminate the stress and negativity by practicing an attitude
of gratitude. Simply put, the more thankful you are the less stressed you can
Let me recommend a simple exercise for each of you. Every
day during the holiday season, take two minutes to list all the things you’re
thankful for. And then take a walk outside, by yourself, and say out loud
a thousand times, "Thank you."
And what will happen? When the holiday stresses start coming
in your direction, your list of thanks will come back into your head and
neutralize your stresses.
3. Remind yourself
"You'll never get it all done, and that's okay."
I was raised in a family where my parents said, "First you
work, then you play. Get all your work done and then you can play."
It’s not a bad thing to tell kids because they’ve not been to a time management
The trouble is if you take that advice literally, get all your
work done and then play, you'd never have time to play. You need to
remember that no matter how hard you work or how fast you work, on the day you
die there’ll still be a few things left in your in-box.
The same truth applies to the holidays. You’ll never get all
your holiday chores done. There’s always more you could do to create that
picture-perfect holiday. Let it go. Remind yourself you’ll never
get it all done and that’s okay.
So be it. Let it go. The founder of Christmas said,
"I come to give you peace." He didn't say, "I come to
give you a hectic schedule that's so out of control you'll be glad when the
holidays are over."
4. Avoid mind binders.
Never say such things as "I get so stressed out during the
holidays ... There's so much to do ... I always come back from vacations
more exhausted than when I left." The more you think or say such
things, the more stress you'll have.
5. Set your spending limits in
I hear so many people talk about how expensive the holidays have
become. They go on and on, fretting about the high cost of living.
But it’s NOT the high cost of living that causes the holiday stress.
It’s the cost of living high.
So set your spending limits in advance. Know what you are
comfortable spending and stick to that decision.
But I’ll give you a warning. You will be tempted to spend
more because somebody else is spending more. And you’ll be tempted to
spend more to make up for the time you didn’t give someone this last year.
Don't do it.
6. Choose your fights carefully.
Holiday gatherings at work or home can sometimes bring difficult
people together. Don't get sucked into a conflict unnecessarily.
7. Do a check up from the
Examine your attitude. 85% of people have a less-than
positive attitude. And the way you check out your attitude is look at your
first reaction to any bit of news. If, for example, you find a note on
your desk from your boss, What is your first reaction? Is your first
reaction, "Great, the raise is coming early this year." Or is
your first reaction, "What did I do wrong this time?" 85%
expect the negative.
If you fall into that category, give yourself the gift of a new
attitude for the holidays and the new year. There are three things you
need to do.
First, set the goal of getting a better attitude. Second, do
some affirmations. As silly as it sounds, tell yourself, over and over
again, "I’m a positive person with a positive attitude." And
third, ask a couple of people to hold you accountable, to praise you when
you’re showing a more positive attitude and to encourage you when you’re
8. Pay attention to your
The holidays are supposed to be filled with fun, joy, and
relaxation. But they may have become too stressful for you, and you may not
even know it. So how do you know if you've got too much stress?
Listen to your body. You'll always have signals ... such as more
headaches, muscle tension, sleep problems, or eating incorrectly ... that you must
listen to. If you don't listen, your dis-stress will lead to dis-ease.
9. Be an actor.
Instead of re-acting to other people's holiday expectations or
demanding behavior, choose to respond in a way that you feel good about. Don't
come down to their level. Let your enthusiasm bring them up to your
10. Remember you can change.
Don't buy into the big lie that says, "I can't help the way I
feel ... or ... That's just the way I am." You may not know how to
change your attitude, but it is totally changeable if you spend five minutes a
day practicing the disciplines outlined in my book, "PIVOT: How One Turn In Attitude Can
Lead To Success."
There you have it ... my top ten list for a stress-free holiday.
you were to limit yourself to three of the ten holiday stress busters, which
three would you focus on? Once you've decided which three it will be,
then do them ... starting NOW.
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About the author:
As a best-selling author and Hall of Fame professional
speaker, Dr. Alan Zimmerman is focused on "transforming the people side of
business.” His keynotes and seminars are noted for high content, high energy,
and high involvement that transform people's lives and the companies where they
To learn more about his programs and products, or to
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