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By Tallulah Ray
Although most of the stress that you encounter during the day is psychological, they can still cause physical damage to your body. Stress causes changes in your respiratory system, immune system, cardiovascular system, and even changes in your complexion. However, there are really easy techniques that you can do to limit the amount of stress that you put yourself through.
One of those things is to change your perspective. So here are 5 reasons why changing your perspective could help your stress level.
#1) View Decisions Like They Are Experiments
I was reading a zenhabits article where Leo Babauta talks about turning stressful decision making situations into experiments. I thought it was quite fascinating and most of us do this on our own anyway, we just aren’t aware of it.
If you’re facing a tough decision to make (“Should I quit my job and start my own business?”) treat it like an experiment. If you’re already considering this then you’re probably already unhappy with your current job so a little experiment won’t hurt.
Let’s say that you want to start-up your own non-profit focusing on literacy. In your spare time try to organize a little book sale, hold a bake sale to benefit a literacy program of your choice, or volunteer at your local library. Experience a bit of the work that will go into your future career. Afterwards ask yourself, did you enjoy the work? Do you think you could do this everyday as your new career?
Since you’re looking at it as if it is an experiment, there’s nothing to lose. You can’t fail. You can’t fall. You’re not risking anything on it, only a little bit of your free time.
#2) Don’t Sweat The Small Things
We go through different disappointments throughout the week. When something small disrupts our day, we have a tendency of dwelling on it. Is someone in the next cubicle is being obnoxious? Don’t sweat it. Maybe she’s having a bad day.
So instead of getting angry and gritting your teeth, put in some headphones and listen to some classical music while you do your paperwork or go for a walk around the office. The walk should help you get a little bit of perspective. Take a deep breath.
#3) Break-Up Bigger Problems
When we run across a big problem, it is hard to focus on a solution because the problem looms over us like the 2001 Space Odyssey monolith. Instead of looking at the whole situation, try to break it up into little problems and fix them or work on them one little quandary at a time.
There are certain situations where it helps to look at the big picture to see if the little things matter, but when you get overwhelmed, it is much less stressful to do the opposite.
#4) Don’t Try To Change Things That You Can’t Control
The Serenity Prayer (grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference) should be placed at every work station in the world. When we have to deal with frustrating people, it’s easy to say “Ugh, why can’t you just…” but that’s not the answer. You can’t change people. So change your perspective.
Instead of focusing on their flaws, focus more on your tolerance and try to put yourself in a better situation. That obnoxious gal in the next cubicle? This would work in that situation as well. Take deep breaths. Think about times where you were having a bad day. What helped you? Maybe you can do something considerate for her.
#5) Be Optimistic
This is the biggest change you can make. Although some people find it hard to be optimistic, studies have shown that changing your POV to a more positive, optimistic perspective not only helps our happiness level but helps with everyday tasks as well. Everything else in your life will seem more pleasant.
If you find it hard to be optimistic (some people are just naturally pessimistic) take it easy. It can be hard but there are a couple of things you can try like positive self-talk, reframing how you define life events (or even small events), focusing on your strengths, etc.
All of these different tips and tricks have to do with your personal perspective. Sometimes the only thing you have to do is change your perspective in order to de-stress.