How Successful Accountants Ease Stress

Gina Deveney
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Accountants can face a lot of stress in their careers, particularly when they are studying for the CPA exam. If you are struggling to stay calm in a difficult situation, try using these tips to ease stress. Without stress clouding your thoughts, you can think much more clearly and perform better in almost any situation.

The best way to ease stress is to have compassion for yourself. Beating yourself up over past mistakes and failures can make the fear of failure even greater, adding to your stress. Practice compassionate self-talk and take some time out every day to do something kind for yourself, such as preparing and eating a healthy meal, taking a long relaxing bath or attending a yoga class.

Establishing a routine is another good way to ease stress. When you are under stress, even simple decisions can seem like overwhelming dilemmas. Having a clear routine to follow in the morning is an easy way of reducing the number of decisions you have to make, giving you a less stressful start to the day.

Don't put anything on your to-do list unless you can also write down where and when you plan to do it. Also, make each task on the list highly specific. To-do lists that are filled with vague goals and ill-defined projects only add to your stress. Instead, your list should provide a clear plan for your day.

You are unlikely to successfully ease stress unless you overcome perfectionism. Accountants are generally detail-oriented people who like to do things perfectly, but perfection is not always a realistic goal. In many situations, getting a task done and out of the way is much better than allowing it to drag on until you are able to complete it perfectly.

If you find that stress threatens to overwhelm you, then try using positive self-talk to ease stress and create a sense of optimism. One major cause of stress is uncertainty. How many times have you found yourself thinking worried thoughts, along the lines of "what if I fail the CPA exam?" Countering these "if" worries with reassuring "then" statements can help you to see that the situations you worry about are unlikely to spell disaster. For example, you can tell yourself that if you fail an exam, you can retake it at another time. Having a plan that you can turn to if your fears are realized can help you to face them.

Stress affects almost all accountants at some point during their careers. By using the tips given here, you can ease stress and take control of even the most difficult situation. Revisit this list whenever you find stress threatening to overwhelm you to find strategies to help you cope.


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