Eight Practical Tips for Reducing Stress Triggers:
By Ari Novick, Ph.D.
(1) Take time off – Take a vacation or a long weekend. During the work day, take a short break to stretch. Walk, breathe slowly, and take a day off and go to the beach, and relax.
(2) Manage your time – Set realistic goals and deadlines. Plan projects accordingly. Do “must do” tasks first. Schedule difficult tasks for the time of day when you are most productive. Tackle easy tasks when you feel low on energy or motivation.
(3) Set limits – When necessary, learn to say “no” in a friendly, but firm manner.
(4) Choose your battles wisely – Don’t rush to argue every time someone disagrees with you. Keep a cool head and avoid pointless arguments altogether.
(5) Use calming skills – Learn not to act on your first impulse. Give your anger time to subside. Anger needs to be expressed, but it is often wise to do something that takes your mind off the situation. The break allows you to compose yourself and respond to the anger in a more effective manner.
(6) If appropriate, look for less stressful job options – But first, ask yourself whether you have given your job a fair chance.
(7) Take control of what you can – For example, if you’re working too many hours and you can’t study enough, ask your boss if you can cut back.
Don’t commit yourself to things you can’t or don’t want to do- – If you’re already too busy, don’t promise to decorate for the school dance. If you’re tired and don’t want to go out, tell your friends you’ll go.
Ari Novick, Ph.D. is Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a certified anger management provider for both adults and adolescents. Dr. Novick is also an adjunct professor of psychology at Pepperdine University’s Graduate School of Education and Psychology. His corporate website is www.ajnovickgroup.com and his innovative online anger management class is available at