As a wellness coach trained in stress management, Williams recommends making two different plans to handle stress.
- Routine maintenance: Develop positive coping skills, such as meditation and visualization, and look for activities, such as yoga or exercise, to keep your baseline stress level in check.
- Breakthrough stress: Find ways to handle stressful situations that flare up without warning. For instance, Williams says that after a stressful meeting at work, you might run up and down the stairs a few times to burn off anger, or retreat to a bathroom stall to take a few deep breaths and refocus.
Williams also shares three other stress management tips that you can start using immediately:
- Check your perspective. Ask yourself, “Will this matter to me a year from now?” If not, why are you getting so wound up?
- Volunteer. Helping to meet other peoples’ needs may make your own problems seem smaller.
- Keep a gratitude journal. Write down the positive people, events, and things that you’re thankful for. “It really switches the focus to, ‘Wow, look how much I have,” Williams says. “Most stress is caused by wishing things were different than they are now.”
- Breathe. One of the breathing exercises that Williams recommends is to count your breaths for a minute, and then try to cut that number of breaths in half for the next minute.