Nine Ways Successful People Defeat Stress

Heidi Grant Halvorson, Harvard Business Review, Dec 13, 2012
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I do all nine of these things, so I think the article is worth linking to. But to my mind, there are two major elements of any effort to avoid stress:

  • realistically assess the consequences. If the thing you're stressing about happens, what then? Most of the time, life goes on, you adapt, and you put in place contingency plans. Most of the things we stress about are not, in the long run, such big deals.
  • don't dwell and stop cycling the same thoughts over and over. If you find yourself dwelling on something, deliberately distract yourself. This is generally a good idea even if we aren't dwelling on things. Play sports, go for a bike ride, watch a movie, and make yourself think of something else.

No nine-step or two-step plan is perfect, of course. Each person responds best to stress differently. Talk to people, get some alternative suggestions, and follow the course that best suits your needs.


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