Let us face the fact that stress has been with us since our first parents were expelled from Eden. It has become an omnipresent part of life. Unfortunately, it has grown by leaps and bounce with the passing of time and “head shrinks” have been having their hay days since then. But what is stress and what do we know about it?

Stress is our reaction to a stimulus that upsets our physical or mental balance. It can trigger the natural defence mechanism “fight-or-flight” response in us for the preservation of our specie. Contrary to common belief, not all forms of stress are harmful. A little dose of it, known as “acute stress”, can be exciting and helps us keep active and alert. However, the long-term stress, known as “chronic stress” can be harmful to our health.

We may not be able to control the things that cause stress in us but we can control or alter our reaction to them. Here are some simple secrets on how to cope with our day-to-day stress:

Be prepared. Start your day with a “to-do” list so nothing comes as a surprise. What makes stress worse is that it attacks at the time when we are most vulnerable and least expectant of it. Based on your list of activities for the day, be ready to anticipate where things could go wrong and have an action plan ready to overcome any stressing challenge that may arise. This can be done by having a “plan B” or “Plan C” in case things do not work out fine the first time. Do not set aside the “what-if’s” options in your projects. Back-up plans can help you recover fast and with less pain from set-backs.

Take time to unwind. Taking five or ten-minute short breaks throughout the day will help you recharge physically and mentally. Simple stretching or going outside for some fresh air and deep breathing is enough to keep your stamina energized and be more productive the rest of the day. Your mind will be refreshed and be more receptive to help you handle stress that may come your way.

Condition your mind that you are on top of every situation. This thought will boost your confidence that you can handle responsibilities well. Visualization is a powerful and effective tool you can use to improve yourself in any phase of your life, be it personal or in your business. If you firmly believe you can accomplish a thing, it is more likely than not that you will!

Learn your lessons well. Close calls and mistakes are effective red lights to warn and guide you to the right direction to take. Mistakes can be unavoidable so when you commit them, accept and acknowledge them. By doing so, you open your mind to make amend and correct them (you could not correct what you think is right). Learn from your close calls and mistakes so you can avoid them in the future. Also, the next time they come your way again, you will not be stressed as much because you know how to deal with them this time.

Keep a positive outlook. Let your past accomplishments inspire you and boost your confidence in yourself. If you were able to achieve so much before, there’s no reason why you cannot replicate those successes over again. Although you should be aware of the possibility of stress, do not make them take the centre stage in your life. Remember that you have met similar obstacles before and triumphed over them. Be confident that meeting them again should be easier this time.

Stay focused on the good things in your life such as your accomplishments, of running your own business, of the freedom of action and decision-making, etc. As much as possible, look beyond yourself and extend helping hands to others. Make others improve their lives with your products or services. Having noble motives strengthen you in accomplishing your own goals in life.

You can master the skills to overcome daily stress effectively by constant practice of the above steps. Appreciate the significance and advantages to your life of being able to handle stress well. Try to pour more effort to work on it. Your attitude and overall well-being will surely benefit from these efforts.