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10 Ways To Focus On Beating The Most Common Stressors

If you’re struggling to focus on your work, goals, exercise regime or anything else, then it may be down to stress.  Here are 10 ways to focus on beating the most common stressors, by Paula Davis-Laack for Psychology Today, from which I’ve excerpted one of my favourites.  I like this point, because I truly believe we’re capable of doing anything that we put our mind to (within reason, I’m not suggesting that by 32 you can become a Formula One racing driver). We are surrounded by information, friends, contacts and all we need to know is how to use that information to reach our end goal.

Ways To Focus On Beating StressYou are unsure of your ability to do something


• If you can’t figure it out on your own, talk to a friend, co-worker, or your boss, if possible. Look for information online, in books, and other resources.

• Build your self-efficacy, which is the ability to believe you can accomplish what you want to accomplish. Start by keeping a journal of “wins.” Write down all of the times in your life when you have exceeded expectations, accomplished tough goals, and were in control of your life. Review this list often and keep adding to it. If you have to, start small. Small victories create momentum which is a great foundation from which to succeed at more complicated tasks.

• Identify your strengths. People who successfully manage their stress understand that they cannot be everything to everybody and remain effective; instead, they have a keen awareness of how to leverage their unique blend of strengths, skills, and talents.

Continue reading the full article from Psychology Today here

I’ll be honest, I was quite surprised to read these 10 ways to focus on beating the most common stressors and see exercise only mentioned once. Psychology Today is probably my favourite authority site from which I excerpt. Having said that, these are 10 very specific stressors so I can understand why exercise didn’t feature in every solution. Exercise for me, is probably the single most effective stress reliever of everything I have tried personally, and there are plenty of articles on this site under the category of exercise and dealing with stress that will support this. It takes you away from your working environment and allows you to be mindful. It also pumps blood and oxygen around your body and vital organs providing all the necessary fuel your body requires.


Six Smart Ways To Beat Stress

It is clear  that stress can have an impact on your ability to focus, as well as your health and mental state.   If you’re struggling to focus, it may just be that you are struggling with stress too.  Here I have excerpted 2 examples out of six smart ways to beat stress, written by Paige Greenfield of Men’s Health.

How you cope: Pour a drink
After a few shots of Jack, the office jackass is the last person on your mind. When alcohol enters your bloodstream, it seems to activate reward pathways for temporary relief. Ultimately, though, it may intensify your depression, says William Pollack, Ph.D., a Men’s Health mental health advisor. In a University of Chicago study, stressed-out men injected with alcohol felt anxious longer than guys in a placebo group. Booze may disrupt your body’s calming process, prolonging the mental misery.

Do this instead: Self-medicate with music
A study in Nature Neuroscience found that listening to favorite tunes or anticipating a certain point in a song can cause a pleasurable flood of dopamine. Listen to a few songs in a row several times a day. “These doses of dopamine can lower your stress, removing the trigger that causes you to seek alcohol,” says Edward Roth, M.T.-B.C., a professor of music therapy at Western Michigan University.

How you cope: Drive too fast
Why do guys love Vegas? Or consider cliff jumping a worthy pastime? The same reason they speed: Risk taking produces a surge of endorphins, which numb pain, says Cleveland Clinic psychologist Michael McKee, Ph.D. But if you chase those thrills while you’re stressed, they could kill you. Your judgment tends to become clouded, so it’s harder to take calculated risks, explains Addis. “You’re more likely to put yourself in unnecessary danger.”

Do this instead: Hightail it to the gym
But don’t default to your regular workout. If you’re bored with your routine, you may not experience the normal post-gym endorphin rush, making exercise less effective as a stress fighter than it could be, says Addis. So try something new: Sign up for a martial arts class, check out an indoor rock-climbing center, or go mountain biking. These activities combine physical exertion with a bit of benign risk taking. Click here to view the original source of the article

I thought these six smart ways to beat stress were an original approach of addressing stress in every day life.  I think sometimes we don’t even realise that we’re suffering from stress and get used to doing things that aren’t productive and beneficial for our brains. What do you think?