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Stress Less Ideas?

What do people recommend for reducing general stress about work? Despite the increasing possibility of burnout, I love my job, but find it very hard to "detach" from it when I leave the office.

I have lots of problems at work (bugs, very late delivery of software, some small financial problems etc) but its not as if anyone is hassling me too hard to get anything done.

I've got a "thinker" personality and I will often spend a substantial time *outside* of office hours stressing about things I have to to, should have done, should do etc. Which of course results in not enough sleep and feeling grumpy and snappy.

Maybe I am just too critical of myself when I (almost always) fail to meet my own expectations?

I'm sure others have felt the same at some stage? Any tips?

Stressed mess
Tuesday, March 02, 2004

I used to be "proactive" around any issue I came across. Now, I'm a lot more choosy, and will get involved if it's either mission critical or will be smiled upon from the Powers That Are.

Try to dump anything which doesn't *have* to be your responsibility. My life has changed for the better since I've achieved this, and managers like me even more would you believe it.

Tower
Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Sport maybe?

R Chevallier
Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Take a week off for the walleye opener. First, you may discover that it counts as a religious holiday in your region. Second, fishing is about as stress free an activity as you can find.  Third, there's always the slim chance that you'll actually catch some fish, with the attendant reward of having something nice to eat.

Clay Dowling
Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Lift weights...big weights...lots of weights.  You need to try to get huge.  Those huge bloated muscles will suck the blood out of your brain and melt the stress away.

name withheld out of cowardice
Tuesday, March 02, 2004

There are classes that really can teach you to reduce your stress levels whenever you want. Some books can teach this too.

The procedure is to quieten down then imagine you're a big building and all the people in the building are going home for the day. You tell the people in your left foot to pack up for the day, then the right foot, and so on.

Sounds corny but it works, and after a while you learn to just reduce your stress by thinking about it.


Tuesday, March 02, 2004

If you can convince yourself you have people living in your right foot, you have more problems than stress.

Rick Watson
Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Beer.

Or wine.

Mr Jack
Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Since nobody said, I will: SEX

RP
Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Develop a hobby.

Flamebait Sr.
Tuesday, March 02, 2004

It is a state of mind.  When you get home you just have to ask yourself "Do I have any control over problems A,B,C right now?".  The answer is no.  Then enjoy your life.  I do this all the time, and worry about nothing, and have no stress.

Case in point.  One time I paid some bills using some checks from my old bank by accident (accounts were closed).  The old me would have worried that my credit rating would go down the tubes, they would cut off my electricity, etc.  Then I thought about it, what's the worst thing that will happen?  worst case they probably send a new bill telling me I'm a moron.  My point is don't worry about stuff you have no control over. 

K
Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Tae Kwon Do, whatever pressure you are under at work you will cease thinking about it when you see a foot coming towards your head.

John Ridout
Tuesday, March 02, 2004

1. Focus on what you are *actually* responsible for.  Not on what others want you to do (or even expect you to do), or what you think you should be doing.  Really clarify this.  It helps a lot.

2. Most people just care about getting it done.  Even though it may feel wrong to you, most of the time it's better to just do it, even if it's haphazard, inefficient, or poor quality.  Don't waste time agonizing over doing it "right" (which usually translates to "perfectly").

3. Focus on actions, not outcomes.  You can only control your actions, what you do.  You can't control what others do in response.  It's easy to think 'I need to do ___ or my boss will ___," but that's a dangerous way to think -- it locks you into assumptions which may not be valid.

4. Since you can't control outcomes/consequences, let go of the fear of negative consequences.  Do what you can to achieve good results, but don't agonize over preventing bad outcomes.  Instead, just have game plans prepared for the ones you can think of.  Then, when something happens you can respond instead of reacting out of unprepared ignorance, fear and doubt.

Should be working
Tuesday, March 02, 2004

> If you can convince yourself you have people living in your right foot, you have more problems than stress.

At least I'm not stressed though.


Tuesday, March 02, 2004

ditto on exercise (e.g., lifting weights).  The stress really does melt off after you wear yourself out. 

The wonderful side benefits are feeling healthier, being more attractive, sleeping better, and feeling less guilt about eating what you want.

You don't even have to work *hard*.  Just do something consistently.

eaw
Wednesday, March 03, 2004

I sympathise. Train yourself. Good sleep is critical.

I'm a thinker too. I used to lie awake thinking about work. That is a habit, not a fact of life. Train yourself to think about other stuff if work preys on your mind. Think about places that you would like to be, places that you aspire to go to, things that you want to do. Think about people you like and things you like doing with them. For a while you will find that work breaks through. As soon as you realise that is happening - and it might take a few minutes - think about something else. Eventually you train yourself not to use that timeslot for worrying. It takes a while - weeks maybe.

Obviously, your worrying has to go somewhere else. I found that one of the reasons that these thoughts came up was that I wasn't confronting the problem at a more appropriate time. Now I fret on this stuff in the bath and over coffee before I go to work in the morning. Perhaps most critically I bring up issues as soon as possible with my colleagues, and let them fret it too. It's a rare problem that is entirely yours to sort out.  I now fret less because it doesn't upset my sleep, so I think more clearly. Allowing this to erode your sleep is a vicious circle.

Woodentongue
Thursday, March 04, 2004

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