The Ins and Outs of Stress Management
The bills will continue to pour in. The prices will go on rising. The recession will continue and the job market will continue to be anemic depending on if America can get is fiscal house in order. This can and does affect your life, your job, and your children's future, if you have any, for example. But do not expect your stresses to vanish. Thankfully, you have it within your power to keep a firm grip on your stress and ensure that it does not undermine with your life and equilibrium.
Knowledge is Power
Here are some effective stress management techniques or critical information that will help you combat the stress menace in your life:
- Identify the stressors in your life. Unknown too many of us, the root of most of our stresses lie within ourselves-in our habits, behaviors, and thought processes. For instance, if you do not learn how to say "No," work will continue to be sent your way. If you do not control your habit of flying off the handle at the slightest, relationships will continue to be strained. And if you do not break your habit of worrying over the small things or trying to take control of everything and everyone in your life, you will always be stressed out.
- Evaluate your coping mechanisms. Some stress-busting methods may work in the short run but actually end up causing severe physical and emotional damage in the long run. Take a close look at yourself and find out if you are prone to lapsing into these dangerous means of coping with stress-smoking and/or drinking excessively, popping in pills or taking drugs, binge eating or starving yourself, shutting out all human contact and/or spending too many mindless hours in front of the television or computer, immersing yourself in too much work to escape responsibilities or procrastinating on critical tasks, and/or venting your anger and frustration on others. Shun these debilitating habits and instead learn how to cope in a healthy manner.
- Learn how to avoid unnecessary stress. This is the first step of taking control of your life. Be prepared to say "No." Accept that it is perfectly okay in wanting to avoid certain people and going ahead with it. Find ways around doing non-critical tasks that stress you out, like switching to online shopping if store queues bother you or consider online shopping if you do not want to deal with finding a parking space or confronting freeway traffic. And finally, sort out your priorities, because some tasks can always be put off until the next day.
- Try and alter a stressful situation. Most stressful situations are not beyond your control if only you convey to these other people that are attributable to your stress in regards to how you are feeling. You need to be a little more assertive and demand that you be allowed more time and space. And then work hard to manage your time in the most effective manner. Most of the time, a compromising attitude and not trying to be perfect also help counter stress admirably.
- Adapt to the stressor. If the above two ploys-trying to avoid or altering a stressful situation-do not work out, gracefully accept that some things are beyond your control. Adopt a positive attitude, lower your expectations a bit, and re-orient your perspective to find the silver lining in the cloud. Whether you see a glass as half-empty or half-full will ultimately determine how well you adapt to the stressor.
- Play. Remember those wise words. All work and no play made Jack a dull boy which will only contribute to your stress. Take time out to have fun, indulge in activities you love most, and reach out and connect to the people you cherish. There is not any greater stress-buster than play.
- Follow a healthy lifestyle. There are tons of scientific studies to prove that regular exercise, a healthy diet, and a solid night's sleep equip your body and mind to cope with stress.
Too Much to Cope With
The above-mentioned stress management techniques, if practiced often and diligently, will yield results. Also, consider seeking medical help for your stress if it is severe or acute because stress can be a silent killer!