How to Cope When You’re Stressed

A friend emailed me and told me she was really stressed but that she’d gotten some great advice from another friend, which she forwarded to me. It’s below and it’s great advice.

My point to her was, “Stop telling yourself you’re stressed.” Self-talk is really important. The more you tell yourself and others how stressed you are, the more stressed you become. I extend this theory to the common cold — when you tell people have a cold, the cold only persists.

Her friend’s full email:

We all have those days Mary. You need a day of rest or a half-day of rest and a lot of sleep. Take a deep breath.

Remember, when things start falling apart, don’t look at the big picture–pay attention to minute details. Get out of your head and into the world.

Look at your hands, are your nails trimmed, are your teeth brushed? What is the weather like today? What can you see new on your way to work? What is the person across from you on the train doing? When we are so caught up in our problems that we forget the rest of the world, then things really go bad. It’s the details that save you.

Breathe deep, feel the quality of that breath. Taste your food. Slow down.

When you have a minute, draw up a list of the three things you have to do today and the three things that you can accomplish the most quickly.Try and knock out the three must dos and if you you have time, the three easy and quick things. Don’t try to do more. You’ll catch up.

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