The last few nights I've slipped back into the habit of getting on the computer late at night. Giving up sleep for work is a horrible habit I want to break. Larry Tobin, can help with that. He's the co-founder of the website www.habitchanger.com. Larry offers his customers a plan to kick hundreds of habits from nailbiting to overspending or overeating. His own life-long struggle with bad habits such as smoking and dieting led him to create a website that would help others break bad habits. Tobin is my guest blogger today and offers his tips on how to break bad habits that lead to job stress.
It’s no secret- the way we manage our time, relationships and energy at work can make life quite stressful. We often let this stress spill over into our personal lives, causing us to lose focus and sense of control. From the moment we hop into the car on our way to work, negative voices can take over, draining our confidence, self-esteem and motivation: “I’m not going to meet the deadline”, “I’ll never get ahead in my job”, “I’ll never be able to go on my vacation when work keeps piling up” It’s easy to let stress take over.
When managing stress, our choices stem from habits we’ve built over the course of our lives. Most of us have a deeply ingrained habit of negative thinking, a habit that can be difficult to change. Learning a method to stop negative thoughts right in their tracks helps us get to the root of the bad habit and break the cycle.
S.T.O.P. is a simple acronym that can help you remember a series of steps to take to break this cycle. The moment you notice that you’re engaging in negative thinking, go into S.T.O.P. mode:
S: Say the word STOP to interrupt your internal destructive thoughts. Tell yourself firmly to STOP over thinking.
T: TAKE a deep breath. Then take a quick break: Go for a short walk, read a magazine article, listen to your favorite song at your desk. Do anything to take your attention away from over-thinking and, if possible, try to change the environment.
O: Focus on the OUTCOME, the goal or goals that you’ve set for yourself. Think about why you are committed to your goal and remind yourself of the positive consequences of achieving it.
P: PRAISE yourself for the progress you are making. Remember, you're looking for progress, not perfection.
You would never allow anyone speak to you the way your negative mind does. You’d ask them to stop. Tell yourself to STOP now and start reducing your stress.