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Two of the most common causes of stress in everyday personal life are self-doubt and shyness. People find themselves unable to perform to their fullest extent and, consequently, at their worst, because they are too apprehensive to step up and do the job well. These are the types of people who fear the possible consequences of taking risks. And in the human social world, anybody who can’t take risks is not likely as happy and fulfilled as the one who can.

A big chunk of the stress we feel everyday is self-inflicted. That is, we bring stress into our lives, almost always unknowingly. When we opt to stay in the sidelines when what we really wanted deep inside was to get ahead, the ‘what if’ factor of the situation will be hounding us for the rest of our lives, causing undue personal stress.

So how can we manage personal stress, then? As with any other form of treatment, there really is no single way to succeed in personal stress management. Each technique and strategy is unique and will depend on each of our orientations and how we respond to stimuli. However, there are certain personal stress management tips that may be common to everyone. Here are some of them.

- Recognize your strengths are weakness, then set your goals.

- Decide what you value, what you believe in, what you realistically would like your life to be like. Take inventory of your library of stored scripts and bring them up to date, in line with the psychological space you are in now, so they will serve you where you are headed.

- Determine what your roots are. By examining your past, seek out the lines of continuity and the decisions that have brought you to your present place. Try to understand and forgive those who have hurt you and not helped when they could have. Forgive yourself for mistakes, sins, failures, and past embarrassmentsm, then permanently bury all negative self-remembrances after you’ve sifted out any constructive value they may provide.

- Remind yourself that there are alternatives to every event. “Reality” is never more than shared agreements among people to call it the same way rather than as each one separately sees it. This enables you to be more tolerant in your interpretation of others’ intentions and more generous in dismissing what might appear to be rejections or put-downs of you.

- Give yourself time to relax, to meditate, to listen to yourself, to enjoy hobbies and activities you can do alone. In this way, you can get in touch with yourself.

- Stop being so overprotective about your ego; it is tougher and more resilient than you might think. It bruises but never breaks. Better it should get hurt occasionally from an emotional commitment that didn’t work out as planned than get numbed from the emotional insulation of playing it too cool.

- Remember that sometimes failure and disappointment are blessings in disguise, telling you the goals were not right for you, the effort was not worth it, and a bigger letdown later on may be avoided.

Overall, personal stress management really involves getting above your apprehensions and fears and learning to take risks. Sure, risks can lead to unpleasant events sometimes, but it is in failure that we learn better. Our refusal to step up to the plate because we are unsure of the outcome is a bigger failure, actually, because then we will never be quieted by ‘what-ifs’ in our head. Nobody said personal stress management is easy. But it can be done, if we just try and believe.

Christine P. Gray is a recognized authority on the subject of stress management. Her website provides a wealth of informative articles and resources on everything you will need to know about self improvement. All rights reserved. Articles may be reprinted as long as the content and links remains intact and unchanged.

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