We’re all stressed. It seems to be a universal fact of modern life. But, as Heidi Grant Halvorson recently pointed out on the Harvard Business Review’s blog network, “the difference between those who are successful and those who aren’t is not whether or not you suffer from stress, but how you deal with it when you do.”
Halvorsen lists nine coping mechanisms, and all tried and true, but in the spirit of the holiday season, I’ve picked out a few that involve more kindness than rigor.
1. Have self-compassion. Studies show that people who cut themselves some slack are happier and more successful than those that torture themselves over every little thing.
2. Take five (or ten) minutes to do something you find interesting. Want to replenish your flagging energy? Skip the coffee and do something that interests you for a few minutes. Research has shown that it actually gives you energy for your other, more mundane tasks.
3. Think about the progress you’ve already made. “Psychologically, it’s often not whether we’ve reached our goal, but the rate at which we are closing the gap between where we are now and where we want to end up that determines how we feel,” Halvorsen writes. “It can be enormously helpful to take a moment and reflect on what you’ve accomplished so far before turning your attention to the challenges that remain ahead.”
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