Calling Out Self-Induced Stress

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manage stressJust how much of the stress we experience in your lives is self-induced?

Much of the stress we experience we generate as a result of our own actions rather than it emanating from an external source. When we try to cram too much into a day, an hour or whatever time we have available, the resulting experience is stress. When we take on too much in terms of what we buy, what we manage, what we need to organize, or what we’re simply trying to keep pace with, the predictable outcome is the experience of stress. With a little awareness, forethought and planning you can manage stress, or at least keep it at a minimum.

You Control the Levers

What if it was within your capability to avoid or manage stress? The excellent news is that it is within your power. By taking a few small steps in the course of the day, you can minimize the stress that you might otherwise experience based on self-generated behaviors.

Here are some ideas to help you avoid traversing the road most trammeled, i.e., incurring self-induced stress.


As a meeting planner, you likely do your best work when you’re in control of your immediate environment. If you need quiet, turn the sound off on your cell phone and create a “thinking space” whether physical or a mental escape where you can process and free your mind of clutter in your own way to focus on the tasks at hand. The 10 to 20-minute stretches of solitude that you carve out for yourself to tackle challenging tasks can yield immediate rewards.


The most vital times of the day for you to tackle challenging tasks. For most people, based on current studies, these times are 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. Your productivity peaks might be somewhat different. In any case, you need to know when they occur.


That some tasks, especially those you haven’t attempted before, require extra care and attention. These often include math calculations or arranging items in sequence, a.k.a., the logistical side of your job. If you opt to tackle such tasks when you know you’re more likely to be energetic, focused and ready to proceed, you have a higher probability of succeeding.


Relationships with coworkers so that you support one another in your quest to get things done. Thus, you respect each other’s quiet times, especially if you have presented such times to one another. For example, you might say, “I need Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2 to 3 to myself.” Also, avoid sending extraneous emails and texts to coworkers that they don’t need to receive.


Yourself some slack. By allowing a little slack in your daily calendar, even five to 10 minutes here and there, you establish a built-in safety cushion of sorts. Even if addressing an emergency requires more time than the slack time you built-in, you still feel a bit better about tackling the issue because you have some slack.

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