Sometimes it seems that there’s nothing I can do about dealing with my stress. My bills won’t stop coming, there will never be more than 24 hours in the day and my work and family responsibilities will always be demanding. But somewhere inside I know I have more control than I think. In fact, just realizing that I am in control of my life is the foundation of stress management. Managing stress is all about taking charge of your thoughts, emotions, and the use of problem solving skills.
Quick, you only have three seconds to think about the top five things that cause you stress. One, two, three and stop. I bet just thinking about it made you stress just a bit. Now think along the lines of walking into work Monday morning to several voicemails, an inbox full of emails that need your immediate attention, your boss wants your report by 11:00 am and it’s already 10:00 am and you have some minor edits still needing to be made. Your co-worker who is working with you on a project that’s due today is out sick and to top it all off, you have a staff meeting where you will play a part in a presentation that you completely forgot to prepare for at 10:30 am. Your first thought is to freak out. If it were me this is what I would be thinking, “this is never going to work, maybe if I just turn around and slowly back away no one will notice.” I know I am not alone in these thoughts.
If you remember a few blogs back I talked about better time management being one of my professional development goals this year. Stress management is another skill and goal that presents a challenge. Stress is natural, and actually a good thing. It can even be a motivator but it can also make you very ill. There are two types of stress, healthy and unhealthy. Healthy stress could be something that gets us up in the morning, like making sure you leave enough time to catch your flight, or getting your kids off to school on time. For me healthy stress keeps me alert and ready. Then you have stress that can cause anxiety and health problems. Challenges someone may face with losing a home due to financial changes, or the loss of a loved one could present unhealthy stress. When stress builds, and you feel the weight of the world on your shoulders, we hope that our coping mechanisms will kick in; I sometimes find myself going to a place of fear and avoidance and lose of control when I am stressed. I shut down and try to ignore the problem all the while a nagging inner voice warning this would hurt me in the end.
So how can we deal with our stress in a healthy way? It all depends on the individual. I myself like to relax and have fun with a group of friends, or listen to music. There are always going to be times where I am not going to be able to control what stressors I face in life. What I can do is recognize the causes and forward think in order to prepare myself better for handling each situation like paying off my school loans, or dealing with multiple priorities at work or home. To offset some stress I have planned goals which are written down in my budget, and I have different to-do list that keeps me on track. These lists help me recognize my accomplishments. I also like to look for helpful tips and techniques that I can share with others facing challenges with stress. Knowing our triggers for stress, and identifying ways to cope can be the first step to a more peaceful, productive life. It is with learning, recognizing, accepting and strengthening our understanding of the causes of stress; we find the key in moving forward with positivity.
Here are some helpful tips in a picture form that I found at Yahoo.com image section under stress management, that I have printed out and hung on my wall at home and at my desk at work to remind me how to distress. Feel free to add this to your own stress skills, and take time to research different stress methods that you can add to your daily routine. It is all about what works best for you in your life.
(Yahoo.com/ stress management techniques Imagery)
Click the link Stress Management Techniques to find more images like this one.