Are you a single working woman? You dare to be different, dare to be independent and dare to be just yourself. You don't kowtow to societal pressures or family demands. You are single by choice (may be waiting for the right man or may be not). You are confident, happy and fiercely ambitious. But you are also under a lot of stress - the stress that comes from daring and from doing things differently. If you are one of these women then we have something for you that will help you combat the stress that may hinder your growth and development. All you have to do is make the following Dos and Don'ts a part and parcel of your life.

1. DO - Be an optimist
Do remind yourself again and again that the whole world is there; ahead of you waiting to be conquered. Your glass should always be half full and never half empty. People may find it difficult to accept a 'career-oriented single woman', at work as well at home. If you can't change their thinking, then there's no point in worrying about what others will think. So many times you worry not because there is an issue but because you have become a habitual worrier. Instead of thinking: 'Will I find a man who will be supportive of my career,' just go ahead and say yes to the man who will support your career wholeheartedly. You will soon realize that having a positive and optimistic attitude will reap positive results.

2. Don't - Create problems that are not there
Many times your worries are the fruits of your own wild imagination. Can you recall how many times you have thought: 'If only I had the figure of Cindy Crawford, if only I had the energy of a five-year-old, if only my boss wouldn't boss, if only the men didn't come too close ... '
The list of 'if only' seems endless. We have a special stress buster to rid you of all these imagined worries. Set an alarm for 15 minutes and think of all the possible worries that you can. As soon as the alarm goes off, rush to the bathroom and wash down all those thoughts down the washbasin.

3) Do - Be happy
Happiness is a perfect antidote for stress. Just be happy and watch all that stress vanish into thin air. The most important happiness is intrinsic - one should be happy with one's own self. In fact make it a point that at least once in a day you tell yourself, " I am happy, I am good and I love myself. " Chant this mantra and you will see that all those problems that you thought were big are actually trivial. You don't need a reason to be happy, but when you feel you do just write down five things that you think are great about yourself or your five greatest achievements. Do you still need a reason to be happy?

4) Don't - Set unrealistic goals
Remember as a kid you were always expected to do things that seemed beyond your capacity and capability like excelling in mathematics while you just hated it, learn swimming when all the time you were scared of water and go win some medals when all that really mattered was that Nancy Drew on the shelf. You could be doing the same thing to yourself like aiming to put a full stop to male female discrepancies in the office, or wanting a double promotion where none is due or waiting for six tall, dark handsome men to propose to you. Remember the story of the hare and the tortoise - slow and steady wins the race. You too can win the race if you aim for things that are within your reach. Setting realistic goals not only relives stress but also boosts your morale in such a way that you are able to achieve the unachievable.

5) Do - Pat yourself on the back
It would be great if someone told you that you are doing a great job. But if nobody seems to be doing that then why don't you go ahead and pat yourself. But take care that you don't overdo the praise. There is a critic and patron in each one of us. The trick lies in striking a good balance between the two. It'll do wonders for your ego if you tell yourself occasionally about a great job you have done or the pretty picture that you have painted. In these competitive times, when everybody seems to be outdoing the other to reach the top, stress can keep mounting. All you need to do is give yourself a pat on the back and see the difference.

6) Don't - Crib and sulk
Many times we get trapped in the vicious circle of cribbing and sulking that leads to stress and then more cribbing and more sulking and more stress and the circle goes on and on. If you are always cribbing about something or the other you will feel discontented and stressed out. There are always going to be various pressures on you like marriage, work exploitation, juggling between home and work or being the sole breadwinner. You need to accept the fact that your life has these problems and instead of cribbing you need to tackle them with calm and fortitude.

7. Do - Let go your Ego
Ego is that side of your personality that brags, criticizes, exaggerates, judges, is selfish and self centred. It is normal to have an ego but it should not become a super ego. Remember the time you passed a judgment on your colleague because you didn't like her way of dressing or you refused help from your male counterpart because of his gender. This is your super ego at work. The minute you let go of that ego you become a more pleasant, happy, generous and helpful person. People tend to then fall in love with you and you with them thus leaving little space for stress to creep in. You will then see yourself building stronger bonds and relationships that you will treasure.

Author's Bio: 

Eric Dexter. I teach, coach, run, write, teach writing, coach running, write about running, write about teaching, and, occasionally, I teach runners how to write, and writers how to run.