Your Most Important Resolution for 2015

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Your Most Important Resolution for 2015

December 30, 2014

by Dan Richards

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Strategies to manage stress

There is no shortage of advisor on how to reduce stress. One example is this article on stress management that identified six broad strategies to manage stress:

  1. Avoid unnecessary stress: To the extent possible, learn to say no, avoid people who stress you out and avoid topics that create stress. One simple strategy to reduce stress is to take one leading psychologist’s advice, mute the ping on your phone that shows a new email and get into the habit of checking emails only once every 90 minutes.
  2. Alter the source of stress: Express your feelings, be open to compromise and manage your time better to focus on priorities.
  3. Adapt to the source of stress: Reframe problems, look at the big picture and focus on the positive.
  4. Accept things you can’t change: Rather than fuming, look for the upside and share your feelings with your spouse or a close friend.
  5. Make time for fun and relaxation: Do something every day that you enjoy, keep your sense of humor and focus on connecting with friends. (Research shows that relationships are a key source of happiness.)
  6. Improve your lifestyle: We all know the prescriptions for a healthier lifestyle – focus on exercise, diet and getting enough sleep. To that list should be added reducing sugar and caffeine and ensuring that alcohol is consumed in moderation.

If you’re serious about reducing stress, then consider incorporating two or three changes off this list into your routine.

Adding meditation to your routine

There’s one other stress reduction strategy that you could add to this list – and that’s taking 15 to 30 minutes a day to practice meditation. For reasons that we don’t entirely understand, meditation has a positive impact on how the brain functions – a recent Harvard study found that after only eight weeks a clinical trial found that daily meditation had led to a transformation in the brain structure.

Some advisors might associate meditation with touchy feely actors and pop singers. But meditation is not limited to those professions – an article on CEOs who meditate includes Newscorp’s Rupert Maxwell, Salesforce founder Marc Benioff, Medtronics CEO and current Harvard Business School professor Bill George and Oprah Winfrey.

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