Stress. Ah, that nasty S word! Do you have stress? Of course who am I kidding, we all do….. Come on now, we can talk candidly about this. When do you get Stressed? Holidays? Weather changes? Work? School? Kids? Dinner time? Lunch Time? Tax Time? Mondays? Weekends? Vacations? Paying Bills? Family Visits? When the Phone rings? When the Alarm Clock goes off? Maybe you’re always Stressed?
Hmmm, wait a minute now, do you know what it’s like to not be stressed? (*for the record Stress is the inability to cope with Pressure*)
Stress can pop up at the most un~opertune times, it can hit you like a ton of bricks & make you cry out for your mama. Stress can also build up slowly doing damage all the while, until you are completely exhausted & don’t know what’s hit you. Stress effects your body mind & soul & it embraces every aspect of our human nature. Stress is all around us, & everyone deals & responds to Stress differently. Without a little bit of Stress we won’t feel challenged, but where is the line drawn between just enough pressure & too much Stress? There are just as many ways to deal with Stress as there are symptoms of Stress. Where do you stand? Where do you start?
Let’s talk for a minute about the damage that too much Stress can do to a person. You may have heard before that Stress can cause more damage to a body then eating junk food! (While I can’t say with absolute certainty that I know this to be true, I will admit that I believe it to be). Stress is like acid, pulsing thru our bodies eating away at our bones, muscles & cells. It can even leave a nasty taste in your mouth. Adrenaline coursing through your body leaves everything in its path tired & exhausted. You need to rest, you need coffee, gosh you just need a break!
When you have chronic damaging stress your body can’t do what it’s suppose to do, mainly take care of itself! Stress can make us tense, forgetful, anxious & angry. If it gets too much we may even become fearful, have panic attacks, gain or lose weight, have indigestion & other related issues. Our Hearts may physically hurt, pounding, irregular beating, palpitations & an increase in blood pressure. We may sweat more, have headaches & other body & muscle pains. This can leave us even more tired & unable to cope. You want to sleep, you need to sleep ~ but when you go to lie down you just can’t fall asleep! Your mind races with thoughts you can’t stop.
When chronic damaging Stress gets too much for us mentally, things can quickly go down hill. It leaves us drained & without energy to finish (or even start) the day. We may feel alone, have difficulty starting or finishing a task & even making decisions. Stress can make people feel un~wanted, un~loved, ugly & like a failure. As you can imagine, these feelings can quickly turn into something even more serious. (I will talk about Depression, Anxiety & Panic Attacks at a later date.) *If this is where you are right now, please talk with your doctor*
Now you may be asking, with all these symptoms being due to Stress, what can we do? Try to think of Stress as the Symptom & Pressure as the Cause. Now remember that Stress is the inability to cope with Pressure well, so we just need to learn to cope better!
Here are some steps you need to take to over come this nasty S word ~ Stress?
First things First, we need to find the cause of the Pressure. Now is the time to go & get a pen & pad of paper. We’re about to do some serious work!
Ready? Now sit is a quiet room comfortably. Close the door & let everyone know you shouldn’t be disturbed for a while. Put your feet up & grab a mug of tea if you wish. Take a few deep breaths in thru your nose & out thru your mouth & relax…… ahhh, are you there yet?
Okay, let’s get down to work. I need you to think. When do you feel most stressed?
Is it work, your boss, or your job?
Is it Bills & or Debt?
Is it the simple fact that you don’t have time for yourself?
Is it commitments that you feel stuck in or forced into? Driving people around? Family dinners?
These are just a few examples, keep thinking until you have them all down. Take your time, this is an important step.
Ok, Time for our second list. Now let’s see what you can think of that would help. For each of your Stressors or Causes of Un~wanted Pressure you need to think of 3~5 things that you could do to release it. It doesn’t have to be sensible or do~able right this moment, but thinking of all your potential options is what we want your mind to be doing.
Can you work less? Cut down on hours? Change jobs?
Take an over~due vacation? Hit a spa or golf weekend?
Do you need professional help to sort thru your finances?
Do you need a hobby? More Friends? Time to just sit & relax? Do you need to join or leave a club?
Think of as many as you can, this could (& should) be fun!!
As wide & varied as the cause of your stress may be. Pinpointing it & clarifying it so that you can work on it is a very important first step. Your job this week is to find your top 3~5 Stressors & consciously try to find 5 simple ways to keep them at bay every day. It’s ok to take your time, in fact this make take a while to straighten out ~ but don’t give up, this is important! Every little step you take every day will gradually add up. Deep breathes. You can do it!
Look for Part 2 here