Control Stress Before it Controls You!

Stress has become a common topic of conversation. The discussion is often: “I am so stressed out, I don’t have time to do anything!” “My job is so stressful!”  It is usually followed by a list of examples that make it seem completely unmanageable. Although stress can be negative or positive, the physical effects are the same.  Seldom do we hear people discussing ways to deal with stress. Perhaps it is because no one knows how, or everyone just feels helpless and resigned to be over-stressed. Most people don’t realize that telling themselves how stressed they are, actually increases their stress.  Your unconscious mind doesn’t know the difference between reality and fantasy, so the more you tell yourself how stressed you are, the more stressed you feel.  Try telling yourself something else like, “I feel stressed but I can control how it affects me.” I call it self -talk, or self -hypnosis!  You actually have a choice of how you view your stress.  You cannot control the world around you, but you have 100% control of how you allow it to affect you. Stress is a very natural part of life. Without stress, we would be bored to death. However, prolonged stress is disruptive to many of our bodily functions, creating various health problems. I will provide ways to reduce your stress, but they only work if you use them!

Stress can be managed or coped with. Managing stress is done when you have too much to do don’t seem to have enough time to do it.  Actually, there is always enough time, as time does not change. Your perception that there is not enough time creates stress. Procrastinating or misallocating time is often the problem.  There are many time wasters and we all know what they are. There are ways you can manage time. Planning and organizing are the two most obvious things that most people don’t do.  Taking 15 minutes once a week to prioritize and plan important tasks can relieve a lot of stress as well as put a proper perspective on the tasks at hand. Delay, delegate, delete or do what you can and don’t sweat the small stuff. Remember, of course, it is all small stuff!

Coping with stress is different. It’s used for immediate relief because you feel adrenaline pumping through you creating a feeling of panic or emergency. Step 1: Stop the adrenaline or use it. Using it is requires exercise. Playing a sport, dancing or working out  are fun ways to exercise. Shutting off adrenaline is accomplished by taking 3 deep, slow breaths.  Other coping methods include meditation, yoga, taking a hot bath, listening to music, dancing, napping and self-hypnosis. Having fun and maintaining healthy, close relationships are general stress reducers. Studies have shown that our brains and bodies are healthier when we are with close friends.

It’s not the amount of stress that’s a problem, its what you do, or don’t do about it. If you do nothing, stress will control your life.  If you change your perspective, or use any of the above suggestions, you will enjoy a happier, healthier, longer life.