Ban­ish work stress for good!

How you can use pos­i­tive think­ing to over­come stress

Men's Fitness - - Front Page -

Your new five-point hap­pi­ness plan

Stress, whether it’s caused by work, re­la­tion­ships, fi­nances or any other fac­tor, cre­ates what’s called a scarcity mind­set. This is when you worry that you don’t have enough love, food, money or time, and that you never will – and it can se­ri­ously af­fect your mo­ti­va­tion and hap­pi­ness. In her new book The Stress-Proof Brain, psy­chol­o­gist Dr Me­lanie Green­berg out­lines the pos­i­tive­think­ing tech­niques you can use to over­come this mind­set and ban­ish anx­i­ety for good.

1 FO­CUS ON AS­SETS

Think about all the good things that you al­ready have in your life: love, achieve­ment, fam­ily and so on. Make a list if you find it use­ful. This will help re­mind you that the stres­sor is just a small piece of your life.

2 FIGHT YOUR IMPULSES

This skill in­volves de­lib­er­ately not do­ing what your brain’s “fight, flight or freeze” re­sponse tells you to do. If your brain is telling you to con­stantly mon­i­tor your girl­friend’s Face­book page, write down your wor­ries in­stead. If you’re tempted to send an an­gry email, moan to a sym­pa­thetic friend. Re­sist­ing the urge to act de­struc­tively will pro­tect your health and your re­la­tion­ships.

3 WEL­COME DIS­TRAC­TION

In­stead of ob­sess­ing over what’s stress­ing you out, find some­thing else to fo­cus on: any­thing from do­ing a cross­word or read­ing a book to watch­ing sports or go­ing to the gym – or­gan­ise your sock drawer, if that works for you. This al­lows your brain to rest and lessens the dam­ag­ing im­pact of stress.

4 IDEN­TIFY PRI­OR­I­TIES

What’s most im­por­tant to you? Is it fam­ily, se­cu­rity, time free­dom, mean­ing­ful work, a sense of com­mu­nity or liv­ing a bal­anced life? It’s eas­ier to make good de­ci­sions un­der stress when you’re clear about what’s most im­por­tant to you. You’ll be able to de­cide how you spend your time and en­ergy, and say no to the less essen­tial things.

5 PRE­PARE A STRAT­EGY

Stress can com­pel us to make im­pul­sive de­ci­sions. Make a list when you go to the su­per­mar­ket and put ap­point­ment re­minders in your phone. Don’t take your credit card shop­ping – get cash out first and limit your­self, or take a fru­gal friend. And erase the phone num­bers of un­avail­able love in­ter­ests (such as mar­ried exes) so that you won’t call them when you feel weak­ened by stress.

The Stress-Proof Brain by Me­lanie Green­berg is out now, RRP £12.99 (New Harbinger)

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