Stress Can Be Avoided—This Is How

Stress occurs when our mental, physical or spiritual challenges exceed our ability to cope with them. Not only is it one of the worst factors for your health, but it can derail your professional life by causing turnover or burnout. It can cause poor choices and weaken execution.

There will always be obstacles and issues in life that are outside your control. But perhaps even more often, anxiety is caused by our inability to plan, react and cope with daily life. So much stress can be avoided.

A lot of problems result from the lack of congruence between the life you want and the life you actually live. When you haven’t realized clarity about your values, you can have to choose between conflicting values. Outline your values and live in accordance with them.

Another great way to avoid this tension is to do an occasional audit of the 10 most stressful things that happen on a daily basis. You will begin to discover a lot of opportunities to make a difference. By changing certain habits, you can often eliminate most sources of stress in your life. Often the most frequent stressor appears to be a lack of time. But a lack of time is not actually producing the stress; it is the way you are managing your time. Building “margin time” into your life is one of the fastest ways to eliminate stress. Margin time will also make room for life’s unexpected events.

Do yourself a favor: Live longer and happier by making your life as stress-free as possible.

Sometimes, though, you just can’t seem to escape the anxiety. Learn to navigate your stress, and find out how to harness those stressful experiences.


Tony Jeary is an author, executive coach and presentation strategist. Jeary has published more than three dozen books about making presentations and strategic effectiveness. He coaches the world's top executives from companies such as Wal-Mart, Ford, New York Life and Texaco.

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