Rancho La Puerta isn’t the most likely spot to discuss stress–any feelings of worry or stress seem to disappear as you set foot on the grounds of the resort. But my workshop attracted a large crowd anyway. I guess everyone knew their stresses would be waiting for them just outside the gates!
Like it or not, stress happens. This workshop had three focuses to better manage it:
- Learning to identify and change things that are causing you undo stress
- Learning to better handle the stress you have
- Learning to keep stress from setting in at all
As in the other workshops, we listed some of the ways science and personal experience say we can better combat stress:
- Deep breaths
- Removing yourself from the situation
- Getting enough sleep
- Quiet time
- Eating healthy foods
- Being less reactive
- Wine (in moderation)
- Taking a bath
- Petting an animal
- Finding a focus
- Listening to music
That’s quite the list, right? Which is all to say, most of us already know ways to be less stressed out. We could teach our minds to not let stress in, such as through meditation. We can reduce the stress we have by distracting ourselves from these feelings, such as by keeping a gratitude journal or spending quality time with a pet. And finally we could make choices that decrease the amount of stress we have, such as setting better boundaries and removing ourselves from situations that are stressful.
To help people come up with a plan to do these things, and not just sink back into the old habit of accepting stress and its ill effects on body and mind, I talked attendees through the below worksheet. I also gave them copies of two articles I’ve written on stress.
SMART Goals worksheet “why does it matter?”