Stress is a small word with big connotations and as wide a variety of effects on your health. There are many ways that we respond to stressful situations many of which are beneficial and improve our performance in work and our reaction times in dangerous situations. Stress over a prolonged period of time and the physiological response of always being on “edge” can be detrimental to our health and can cause a whole range of symptoms ranging from mild digestive problems to migraine, insomnia to stroke, it also leads to impotence and infertility . Stress over time has more negative than positive effects and for the adrenaline junkies out there it is important to look at ways of winding down and managing your stress, a relaxed mind is more productive than a stressed one. Fear not though there are many things that can be done to alleviate the health impacts of being constantly on edge. Acupuncture will stop the symptoms and help to relax you so that you are less prone to tension, massage or Shiatsu will also help reduce any tension and enable you to deal with the difficult situations.
Triggers that cause you Stress
Being aware of the situations, people, and /or false expectations that cause you to become stressed is vital to enable you to change your reactions and avoid getting stressed.
What causes you to become stressed & how can you reduce this
- Certain people e.g. Boss, Partner, Parents, In-laws, Siblings etc.,
If your boss or another person in your life upsets or makes you feel intimidated look at ways of limiting your exposure to them. If this is not possible change your expectations, if you know they make you feel bad well take that power away from them, look at NLP techniques or try EFT to change the way you react to them. If it is possible to get negative people out of your life, then do, surround yourself with positive people where you can.
- Time Management
Deadlines, if you know you need to have a report done by next Friday, don’t wait till the “11th hour”, you don’t work better under pressure and there will be an underlying tension building as the deadline closes in. (Deadline is an interesting a quite scary phrase!).
Work / Life Balance
Maintain a healthy balance, don’t over extend yourself if you need to be home with the family then leave work when your due to, if there are serious issues in work that need to be addressed then make that known to your family and do overtime, but find the balance 38-40 hour work week is normal. Try not to bring work home with you, if you do make up the time for yourself and your loved ones.
Avoid the road rage Travelling to work, meeting or away, plan ahead if you know it takes 20 minutes on a good day (lets face it we are always optimistic about how fast a journey is!) well then allow for the uneventuality, and give yourself 30 minutes those traffic lights might just turn RED for you!
Look at your availability on email, conference call, mobile phone etc., if it is possible to switch off for a few hours, do it. The world will keep spinning, and hopefully your world will slow down!
- Bombarded with negative news and media reports
Turn it off, don’t read it, you don’t have to bury your head in the sand, but equally you don’t need to hear the same news report about “Austerity, War, Crisis everywhere” with a slightly different spin and even more dramatic effect placed on each report designed to have you living in fear and feeling the need to tune in to S** NEWS by the minute for new scintillating to the second coverage, chose what you read, watch or listen to, it is powerful to be able to switch off negativity, imagine if you could use the same remote control to turn off other negative voices in your life! (Maybe you can).
- Know your Limitations
It’s OK to say “NO” if you are not able to do something well then be polite and tell the person you can’t do it. Don’t take on lots of extra tasks that will cause you more stress and the lead to resentment towards the person that you agreed to do the “favour” for, they won’t understand where this is coming from and it won’t help your relationship or career.
- Change unrealistic Perceptions / Expectations
If your perceptions of a situation or a person are unrealistic well then change them. Remember the only person you can change is yourself. Don’t spend the whole of your life trying to change a friend, colleague or family member it will only cause you heart ache and lead to resentment and anger.
In my next installment I will deal with specific coping methods and ways to De-stress, remember a lot of your responses to these difficult situations are in your control.