How to Handle Stress by Managing your Levels?
Stress is a natural and unavoidable feature of modern life. When
the pressures of life become too much and we can't cope, stress
operates like a screw gradually turning tighter and tighter.
Often we don't realise that we are under stress - until the
pressure becomes too much and the lid starts lifting... then we
crack. Humans are vulnerable and live under an optimum level of
stress every day - they often don't know how to cope, when the
pressure builds up too much...but what can we do about it to
make our lives easier?
HOW TO COPE WITH STRESS?
Listen to your own alarm system. There are abundant challenges,
demands and opportunities in modern living; but these often
cause frustration and exasperation. Your first step is to be
aware that you are under stress. Make a list of all of all the
major stress areas in your everyday life. (My what a big list!).
Then armed with this knowledge, make an honest commitment to
changes in your life. By identifying the causes and being open
to change, you can at least hope for improvement.
FIND THE CAUSE. CALL IT BY NAME, THEN YOU CAN ELIMINATE IT. The
key, I believe, is ACCEPTANCE.
People suffering from severe stress should seek help from a
doctor or therapist. Therapists help the patient to feel
differently about things. In other words, they get them to have
a different perspective. Persons suffering from stress might do
small tasks to give them a feeling of accomplishment before
returning to the work-force. All these techniques can make
people grow; just like plants don't grow, unless they are
watered and cared for.
WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT STRESS?
Look at your life and try to find the main cause(es) of your
stress. What external event or situation is causing the problem?
Or is it just your perception? Is it physical, emotional or
professional? Self knowledge means self help; so that once you
can identify the cause of your distress, you can eliminate it.
Remember that for you to be happy, all three areas of your life
(ie. emotional, spiritual and intellectual) need to be
satisfied. You need BALANCE in your life. The first step is
ACCEPTANCE: admit that you are under stress and not coping with
life, as well as you should. Once you accept this, the next step
is committing yourself to take ACTION to relieve the problem.
Making that decision to take action is probably the hardest for
you. It is best to use a combination of strategies to combat
moderate stress (the result of daily wear and tear on the body).
Possible action plans are as follows:
1. EXERCISE regularly. A healthy, flexible body makes for a
healthy, alert mind. Being physically active stimulates energy
levels in the brain (through the chemical serotonin, or
something like that) and allows an outlet for your frustrations.
2. Keep BUSY; this takes your mind off the problem. It is the
best antidote to deal with the problem, instead of worrying
3. Take time for yourself to RELAX, MEDITATE and VISUALISE.
Don't let trivial problems build up and get the better of you. A
quiet body is more prone to recovery and health than an angry
4. Keep a positive mental attitude (P.M.A), that you will
overcome your stress. Your attitude will determine your thoughts
and how well you cope with life: "As I think I am." Your
attitude beats facts every time. Haven't I said that phrase
5. Watch your DIET carefully. Eat plenty of healthy foods:
fruit, fresh 'veggies' and vitamins (especially B and C). Cut
down on stimulants, like caffeine and nicotine; both these are
drugs that build up your resistance. Also cut down on sugar,
fats and your salt intake.
6. COMMUNICATE with a person close to you. Open your heart to
those nearest and dearest to you. Don't suffer in silence. John
Donne said "No man is an island unto himself." (And a few women
too!). Set aside specific times to communicate and talk
honestly. Share your thoughts, worries, feelings, dreams,
disappointments and problems... and doesn't life have enough of
7. Let go of your EMOTIONS. Cry if you want to. It's natural and
wil lhelp the healing process. This applies to "macho" men also,
who are socialised to keep their emotions inside.
8. Pray to God for the answers to your stress problem, if you
are religious, or "a spiritual" person . You WILL get the
answers via your subconscious mind, your intuition - our
connecting link with our Creator, a Supreme Being, Spirit,
Higher Self (or whatever you understand God to be).
Finally, 9. Keep your sense of HUMOUR and be HAPPY.