Stress management now plays a large part of our every day lives if we want to remain healthy and live a fulfilling life.
Stress can be brought on by any number of reasons but the modern pace of life which means everything has got be faster, easier and better is a major trigger. This sort of stress can probably be best described as Pressure Cooker stress, and should be avoided at all costs. Anyone that has ever cooked with a pressure cooker knows that low heat allows the cooker to steam gently, this is a good thing, getting the job done with no danger. Too much heat and the cooker will literally blow its top, the resulting mess defies description. Its not a pretty sight!
If you are under stress of the pressure cooker variety you need to get it under control fast, and that will probably entail drastic measures and a lot of stress management.
The following information on stress management, details some useful tips for getting control of stress, but the bottom line is that its up to you. It is interesting to note that on the scale of stress scores, Christmas only rates as a twelve. Anyone that has ever been Christmas shopping on the 23rd of December would agree that it should be right up there in the nineties!
On the more serious note of stress management, it should be recognized that stress is a very real problem in todays society. The good news is if we take the holistic approach to health and day to day living, we can keep stress at a low, manageable level, where it is a stimulant and actually good for us.
Once stresses are identified, stress management can be put in place and the stress controlled. Are you a worrier? Chronic worriers don’t have more serious problems than others – they just think they do. Many worriers try to cope by trying not to think about their problems, but this just makes things worse. Doctors say that chronic worriers feel less anxious if they actually spend half an-hour a day thinking specifically about their problems
Stress is an abnormal condition that disrupts the normal functions of the body or mind. No two people are affected in exactly the same way, or to the same degree, but most people living in our highly industrialized society suffer from its effects at one or more times during their lives. Symptoms range from mild headaches, occasional bouts of insomnia, overall restlessness, digestive problems, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation and diarrhoea, and abdominal pain.
Stress Management at Work
Everybody has days when it simply seems there’s too much work to get done. Trying to get everything done by yourself can bring on stress. Some people try and deal with the pressure by delegating certain jobs to others. If you can unburden yourself and not worry about when and how the work gets done, if you can put full faith and trust in co-workers or subordinates it can be an effective escape valve.
The trouble is, most people can’t let go. If you have the type of personality that demands to know how things are going, chances are you’re only increasing the pressure and stress on yourself by constantly worrying if the work is getting done or not.
As part of stress management you must either learn to trust others to get the job done, or prioritise jobs to get rid of “what must be done” first. Many people tend to “put off” the difficult jobs they hate to do until the last possible minute. Of course, this only makes it all the more difficult and stressful when you finally get around to doing what you should have done earlier. When you feel the “walls closing in on you” if possible, take a break.
Many people in trying to use stress management, actually kick their bodies into overdrive by using their break time to either get a nicotine or caffeine fix. Instead of calming you down, both substances being stimulants speed up your body processes. You may think you’re relaxing, but your blood pressure and heart are working harder.
Rather than coffee or cigarettes, try a brief chat with friends, a short leisurely walk, even just looking out the window for a few minutes. Never take breaks, or eat lunch at your work station. The point of a break is to get away from whatever work you’re doing. You can’t get your mind off your work if you’re chained to your work area.
Getting along with your co-workers and the boss can be more than a sore point. It can be something you learn to put up with, or it can turn into a festering wound that only gets worse with time. If you’re having problems, get them out in the open.
Most managers today at least have some training in dealing with personal problems. If you can’t clear the air or have tried using all the company procedures to resolve a grievance, and you no longer enjoy your job, hate to go to work in the morning, or feel that the pressure is getting to be too much, it may be time to seriously consider a change.
Stress Management Away From Work
Anyone who’s ever been stuck in a major traffic jam probably has seen the darker side of many people’s personalities. It seems everyone is always in a hurry to either get, or go somewhere, and never seem to allow enough time for the everyday problems that are bound to crop up from time to time.
Banging on the steering wheel, laying on the horn, or shouting a string of obscenities is only reacting to something that has already happened. You can’t make the guy in front of you go any faster, or prevent someone from cutting you off.
Accidents, road repairs, and just plain heavy traffic happen. Learn to deal with it or don’t drive. If you must drive, at least change your route from time to time. Always allow plenty of time, and try and make all trips as pleasant as possible.
You may not realize it, but how you act on your way to work, or on your way home, will have either a positive or negative impact. Accept the fact that it’s something you just have to get through so you may as well try and make the best of it. By using stress management at the start of the day, will make all the difference to your outlook for the rest of the day.
Most people realize that in stress management they should set some time aside to take it easy. If you participate in some sports activity, remember you’re doing it to relax! While many people naturally have their competitive nature come to the surface when engaging athletics, don’t lose sight of the fact you’re participating to have fun.
Don’t get bent out of shape if you don’t always win or otherwise play up to par. The whole point is to enjoy yourself and forget your everyday worries. Treat it as a night out with the boys or girls, and relax! It is supposed to be stress management, not adding more stress to your life.
Stress Management at Home
Families can be a source of support, an oasis away from the everyday pressures or sometimes it’s only a place to grab a few hours sleep and get back in the rat race.
Your children, spouse, family members, in-laws can be a source of irritation at times. If someone is constantly doing something that really “bugs you,” tell the offending person or persons and see if things can be straightened out before they get out of control.
Your home should indeed be a place to rest and relax. Many people find it helpful to unwind by sharing the day’s events with their loved ones. It should not develop into a daily routine, nor should you give a detailed blow-by-blow recap of the day’s events, but when things go wrong, who better to talk to than your family?
Holding things back, keeping it inside yourself is not good stress management, it almost always does more harm than good and can affect not only your well-being but everyone else in your family as well. Talking things over is a great way to get rid of built up stress that many people overlook.
You should also be a good listener. Don’t unload your problems and have no time for your mate’s or children’s problems. They may seem trivial to you, but they are real problems that need solving just like yours.
A great stress management tool
is, every once in a while, do something totally different and unexpected without any prior planning. Don’t fall into a trap when you must do such and such thing a certain way, or at specific time or place.
If you always put on a blue suit on Thursday, or go to an Italian restaurant on Tuesday, break the habit every once in a while. Even doing things you like can become stressful if you’re stuck in the same old rut week after boring week.
Stress can best be managed by realizing what you can change about your life and knowing what you can’t. Learn how to recognise the difference and you’ll enjoy life more and be better able to deal the ups and downs that are part of everyone’s life
If you’re wondering what degree of stress you live under, here is a quick way to get a fair estimate. Dr. Thomas and Dr. Richard Rahe composed a table of events and the amount of stress they cause. These ratings will not be entirely accurate for you though. If, for example, you take a vacation only every five years, you might rate it a 25 instead of a 13.
The combined total of stresses in the past few months will give you an idea of your current stress level. Keep in mind that people have varying stress-handling capacities and this table does not take into account such regular stresses as recreational, chronic illness, allergy or random stresses such as car accidents, contest winning or the dreaded tax audit.
This is presented as information only and should not be used for diagnostic or treatment purposes, it is a good stress management tool.
|Death of spouse||100|
|Death of a close family member||63|
|Personal Injury or illness||53|
|Fired at work||47|
|Change In health of family member||44|
|Addition of new family member||39|
|Business of adjustment||39|
|Change in financial status||38|
|Death of a close friend||37|
|Change to different line of work||36|
|Change in number of arguments with spouse||35|
|Mortgage over $100,000||31|
|Foreclosure of mortgage or loan||30|
|Change in job responsibilities||29|
|Son or daughter leaving home||29|
|Trouble with in-laws||29|
|Outstanding personal achievement||28|
|Wife or husband begins or stops work||26|
|Beginning or end of school||26|
|Change in living conditions||25|
|Revision of personal habits||24|
|Trouble with boss||23|
|Change in work hours or conditions||20|
|Change in residence||20|
|Change in school||20|
|Change in recreational activities||19|
|Change in church activities||19|
|Mortgage or loan under $10,000||17|
|Change in sleeping habits||16|
|Change in number of family get-togethers||15|
|Change in eating habits||15|
|Minor violations of the law||11|
If you need help with any of the above, consider coaching through us.
Here is a web site to help you discover how stress could be affecting your life and how to manage it using techniques and coping strategies on a daily basis to improve health and lifestyle.
For practical stress management strategies for women coping with the stress of balancing personal and professional responsibilities. Time management,
goal setting, healthy living, and organizing tips are offered for moms, teens, midlifers, seniors, and young professionals.
Optimal breathing exercises and techniques to aid stress management, high blood pressure and anger.