Posted on Aug 16th, 2006

We need to think of stress as our personal fuel supply. This means that, like a car, we need to fuel our body with positive energy. How we fill up our "car" with this positive energy is crucial to our wellbeing.

Stress is really about balance. Life is full of challenges. These challenges can either be dealt with by us in a strong, balanced, relaxed way or we can allow them to overpower us and have an adverse effect on our lives.

Think of a set of old fashioned scales. One side has your coping life skills and on the side, where you would put the weights, are your life challenges/stressors.

If your life skills are healthy, then you can achieve a balance and the challenges, even if in the short term are really quite severe, can be dealt with by you. If your life skills are not as strong as they need to be, and the life challenges are too powerful, then you will experience stress controlling your life.

Over the last 4 years I have had to deal with bereavement, house move, debt, dreadful relationships with children and unemployment - to name but a few.

During this time of extreme angst I had some stressful reactions to my life challenges. These included a few heart palpitations, a bit of nervy tummy for a few days and the odd panic attack. But I was able to deal with them!Considering the pressures I was under I really was quite proud of myself. When I think of how many years I took to try to find out how to deal with stress in my life I really felt I had cracked it!!

I hope this doesn’t sound too arrogant. Because I feel I have achieved something, I tend to get a bit passionate about controlling our lives and making them far more pleasurable.

Stress can be controlled, providing we have the appropriate life skills

So, if it was possible for me what did I do?

Firstly, I dealt with the main stressor that was having the most effect on my life. I accepted that change was necessary, and changed my job. That took a large amount of stress from my life. Amazingly enough my life didn’t crumble without my job, incidently I had been in this job for 21 years -so quite a lifestyle change!

The new job was totally different and didn’t really challenge me, however it paid me and allowed me to live, but without encroaching on what I was trying to sort out in my head.

During this time I took up exercise again. Although I was quite fit because of walking the dog, I decided that I would take up power walking again. The advantage of exercise in dealing with stress is that as bad stress causes you to produce bad chemicals in what is called the Flight or Fight response, your body becomes ready for action. If you have a drink and slump down on the sofa, you are not dealing with these chemicals. They will stay in your body until the next stress surge, and eventually start to build up.

Brisk walking disperses the chemicals, and so your body and mind become less toxic. Exercise can also help you mentally. As you choose your route, which will hopefully include some interesting scenery, with practise you should start to clear your mind of your latest stressors. Even walking around a London park will involve some lovely scenes - even if it’s only the odd squirrel or pigeon!

The last part of this mini stress plan involves relaxation. If you can find a good way to relax both your body and your mind you will find that if a wobbly moment looks like kicking in, you should be able to gain control over the situation or perception of stress because you can relax your mind.

A very easy but effective way to start relaxing is to take a warm, relaxing bath. This may sound too simple - a bath is she kidding?

We all (hopefully) take baths regularly but this is a special time for you. You are saying to everyone else in your house that this is your special time and you must not be disturbed! Light some scented candles, lavender is great for relaxation, and lie in the soothing suds, breathing with long relaxing breaths and try to empty your mind.

A word of warning: Make sure you don’t relax too much and ask someone to listen out for you - you don’t want to slip under the water!

So this is a very simple insight into stress and what you can do. Stress affects us all differently, but we all need to deal with it so that we are in control of it.

I hope these tips have helped you. I will be adding more articles soon.

My article is just a small example of some of the helpful tips I share with you on my website. The site is based on my own experience of stress and how these tips have worked for me. If you would like to learn more info please link on my site I look forward to you visiting the site and hopefully picking up some great tips. My plans for the future are for many of us to share our experiences and tips we have found work for us. By sharing our experiences I really believe we can help one another to move our lives out of the stress zones and into a more healthy and happy life. Why not visit now?

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