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Archive for August, 2008
Friday, August 1st, 2008

Which of these create stress?

  • You welcome a new co-worker at the job.
  • Your child gets his learners permit.
  • You go to a dinner party at your boss’s house.
  • You have to speak at a family reunion.
  • Your spouse announces they have received a promotion.
  • Your college roommate phones and asks to stay at your house for a week.
  • You get on the scales and you have gained 10 pounds while dieting.
  • All of the above.

Many times we think that stress is something that makes us worry, feel bad, or causes anxiety; well this is true but good news can also be stressful.  Stress appears in many different forms: happy things, sad things, exciting events, new news, and even good news. Many times we carry enormous stress loads and we do not even realize it!
We are all familiar with the word “stress.”  Stress is when we are worried about an impending lay-off, or concerned about having the resources to pay our bills, or concerned that our pet may have to be put to sleep, or worried about our mother when the doctor says she may need an operation. In fact, to most of us, stress is synonymous with worry. If it is something that makes you worry, then it is stress.
But there is also a much broader definition of stress. TO YOUR BODY, STRESS IS SYNONYMOUS WITH CHANGE. Anything that causes a change in your life causes stress. It doesn’t matter if it is a “good” change, or a “bad” change, they can both induce stress. When you find your dream house and get ready to move, that is stress. If you break your arm while playing tennis, that is stress. Good or bad, if it is a CHANGE in your life, it is stress as far as your body is concerned.
Further, even ENVISIONING change is a trigger for stress. If you envision that you will not have enough money to pay your child’s tuition, that is stress. If you worry that your company may downsize, that is stress. If you think that you may receive a promotion at work, that is also stress (even though this would be a GOOD change). Whether the event is good or bad, envisioning change in your life is stressful.
Researchers remind us that it is not the situations which cause stress, but how we address or manage them.
If you want to avoid the stress of daily life, here are 10 Lifestyle tips you may want to try:
1.      Decrease your caffeine intake (coffee, tea, chocolate, colas) so that you can relax. Eat a well balanced diet (no junk food), eat slowly, and get plenty of fluids and sleep.
2.      Maintain regular exercise (at least 30 minutes, 3 times per week).
3.      Read a book or a magazine, listen to music, watch TV or a video… and relax.
4.      Let the answering machine screen your calls when you are relaxing.
5.      If you are ill, do not try and carry on as if you are not. Know when you are tired and do something about it.
6.      Learn to see problems as opportunities and discard negative thoughts.
Each day find some leisure time so that your body and mind time can recharge and relax.
7.      Each week find time for self renewal-rejuvenation: do something to elevate/feed your spirit. Regularly engage in relaxation exercises (meditation, self hypnosis, breathing, smiling, laughing).
8.      Make your day a little easier on yourself…Other people can be the greatest source of your stress…Nurture your support systems; be good to your family, friends, and those who care for you.
9.      Practice being assertive rather than too aggressive or too passive.
10. Set limits; learn how to say “No” when you need to.