8 Great Ways to Reduce Stress and Be More Productive

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1. Delegate– You will experience increased efficiency and better distribution of workload in order to focus on priorities.  Let go of any pride, a need to control or lack of confidence in others to complete a task.  Don’t dump on others. Use delegation to help team members grow and expand their skills  If you are in a crisis or time crunch to meet a deadline, ask others to be supportive by performing some tasks that would free up time for you to be effective.  Delegation builds trust, positive teamwork and taps into the skills and ideas from others around you.

2. Eliminate the clutter. Your surroundings are a reflection of your internal landscape. Notice when you are depressed how you stop hanging up your clothes, the dishes pile up, the mail goes unopened, your car is full of trash and your desk is a mess. Work every day on alleviating the fear, doubts, shame and anger. Clear the path to receive blessings, vision, harmony, order and clarity.  Throw away and give away old, unused, broken and outdated items in your car, closets, office, garage, etc.

3. Associate, don’t isolate. Disappointment, loss, caregiving and stress cause many people to detach.  Cave dwellers become afraid, sick, unproductive, depressed and live in darkness. Stay in the light. Surround yourself with like-minded people and associate with people who can help you grow in faith, courage, family, career, business, goals, etc.  Interact with family, friends, mentors and those who can inspire you to grow.  If you have no relationships of accountability, you will slip into poor habits, emotional slumps, excuses and suffer from the incompletion of your goals and tasks.

I have seen a pattern with people who are creative, leaders and perfectionists.  They tend to be more isolated in their caves.  I have observed how they get in a zone and become cut off from the people and resources that could keep them energized, connected and grounded in reality.  I even noticed in my own work habits, that if not monitored, I become a cave dweller.  My sense of self-sufficiency makes me more vulnerable to discouragement, procrastination, poor sleep/eating habits and unnecessary mistakes.  Isolating cave dwellers have to crawl out of their cave and enjoy some light, love, and the fresh air of ideas, input and interaction with others.

4. Accentuate the positive. Count your blessings. Watching too much CNN and other news channels can be depressing. Look around and see how good God has been in your life. Gratitude turns your head toward heaven. Depression causes you to hold your head down. Positive energy attracts positive energy.  Speak life.

5. Activate your faith. Declare a thing before you see the manifestation. If you keep your mouth shut, and refuse to act on the Word of God, there will be no manifestation. Faith can be compared to a muscle; it needs to be strengthened through exercise. Faith is your ability to trust God for what you cannot see or understand. Faith is your ability to draw your good from the invisible to the visible. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” ~ Hebrews 11:1

6. Motivate yourself. Quitting can become a habit. Feeling unworthy with guilt and shame can become your shackles of fear. We all have seasons of doubt and feel inadequate. We can use these experiences to wake up, be brave, adapt, endure, be humble and grateful for each day to begin again.  Become your own cheerleader.  Remember, “the why” when you feel stuck or procrastinate. Why do you need to lose weight, go back to school, become clean and sober? Why do you want to start your business or ministry? Why do you need to seek better employment? Why do you need to spend more time studying? Why do you need to spend more time with your loved one? Why do you need to get out of a toxic relationship? Why do you need to upgrade your skills? Why do you need to develop a relationship with God? If you remember the “why”, you will motivate yourself to get up and move forward.

7. Communicate – let go of stress and suppressed feelings in a healthy way. Communicate without blame or condemnation. Don’t suppress your pain, stress, questions or requests. Holding in your feelings breeds stress related health issues, bitterness and disconnection with your spouse, family member, co-workers, team or committee. People cannot read your mind. You will be disappointed in life because people are not perfect. In order to keep relationships healthy and growing, you must learn to honor your voice and feelings without doing damage, shutting down lines of communication or crushing the spirit of those you are communicate with. Remember timing, temperment and tone are important when you ventilate your thoughts.

8. Cultivate your strengths and gifts. Build up your confidence. Continue learning. Polish up your gifts, talents, skills and self-esteem. Pull up the weeds of negative habits. Break up the hard ground of bitterness, shame, anger, fear and stress.  Dig out any deep roots of low self-esteem, addiction, worry, small thinking, doubt, hatred or grudges. Weed out any habit, thought or relationship that blocks the sun for your growth. Plant new seeds of enthusiasm, imagination, new skills, new relationships, courage, creativity, faith, purpose, love and gratitude.  Water your seeds with prayer, focus, gratitude, right action, right words and service/good deeds towards others. If you plant seeds of doubt, anger, fear and lack, that will be your harvest.  If you plants seeds of love, courage, compassion, vision, purpose and gratitude, that will be your harvest. Cultivate your soul to be, do and see things differently.  Your heart and soul need constant care and gardening in order to bloom.

Cultivate a healthy lifestyle reducing fatty, fried, frozen and fast foods. Drink plenty of water.  Exercise and move your body.  Develop a sense of humor. Cultivate your faith to be able to let go and let God.

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