Stress is the big, bad bogey monster that creates more havoc in your life than just about anything else. It will ruin your health, ruin relationships and ruin your chances of success. Here are six simple ways to tame the nasty beast:
1. Exercise Throughout The Day
You put in a long enough day as it is, so there just isn't time to exercise. Or is there? Park farther away, get off the subway at an earlier stop, take the stairs, take a longer way to the bathroom, bounce your legs under the desk, walk to lunch -- the point is to move. Use your energy to move and be creative - not to build up stress.
2. Find Things to Laugh About
Encourage silly behavior, share a funny video with co-workers, create laugh sessions with officemates, keep a picture on your desk that makes you giggle. It's hard to stay mad or stressed when you are giggling like a crazy person in your cubicle.
3. Ask For Help
Chances are, there is someone in your network at work or away from the office who can help you. No one can help you if they don't know you need help. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness; highly successful people do it all the time.
4. Find A Mentor
There is always someone who has gone before you, maybe not in the same exact steps but darn close, who can advise and help you. Is there someone you admire in your work network, friend circle, or family? That's a mentor. Invest in two cups of coffee sometime for what could be the lessons of a lifetime.
5. Take a Big Breath
Don't lose it at work -- in front of management, co-workers, employees, clients, or anyone. That release of steam will be remembered forever, long after you have forgotten about it. Mad? Stressed? Ready to lash out? Think everyone around you is an idiot? Breathe. Go somewhere private and take a big breath. Let it out slowly. It's what they teach women in labor to do to keep from killing their partners at that very moment.
6. Learn to Meditate
You don't need a swami or a yogi to learn to meditate. All you need is a basic understanding of what it is and how to start. ABC News anchor Dan Harris' book, 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works--A True Story, is a great guide to start with. Harris had a panic attack during a live newscast on Good Morning America about 11 years ago. That event led him on a journey of discovery, specifically learning to mediate to calm "the voice" that controls us all on a daily basis. That voice is what creates a good deal of the stress in our lives. Quiet that voice and you disperse quite a bit of stress.
You may not have a stress-induced "episode" on live television in front of millions of viewers but your work-induced stress is just as harmful and horrific. These simple, everyday steps can make the difference each and every day at work. They're not hard and they're not time-consuming. The hardest part is creating the daily habits. Do that and you do tame the beast.
Dayna Steele, known as the Daily Success Expert, is the creator of YourDailySuccessTip.com and the author of the 101 Ways to Rock Your World book series. She is a hall of fame rock radio personality and used to be really stressed. Sign up for her free daily tips here.