Posted on Sep 22nd, 2006

Stress is a natural part of life. What you understand by stress though may be quite different from your work colleague, your neighbour or your partner.

The same events, the same amount of pressure may inspire one person to get active, creative and move beyond known limits and another person to break down and get ill. In order to successfully deal with stress, you need to know your personal tolerance level.

There are stressful events that you can’t avoid such as death, conflicts, accidents, job change, moving, marriage, parenthood, sickness or money problems.

And there is the stress that is created in your mind. This self-induced stress is worries about the future, money, a loved one, loss of work, retirement to name a few. You often experience this mental stress as the feeling of being out of control.

Too much stress of this kind can cause sleeping problems, backaches or headaches or even worse, contribute to life-threatening diseases like high blood pressure and heart disease.

The key to stress is how you deal with it. Dealing with stress involves body, mind and the emotions.

A primary factor in dealing with stress that involves all those levels is your ability to relax.

There are many ways to do that. A continuous, deep and slow abdominal breathing is a vital factor for relaxation. Other well-known techniques are meditation, guided imagery or progressive relaxation of the muscles. But just even going for a walk, listening to music, reading for pleasure, talking to a friend or taking a bath often helps to deal with a stressful event.

On the body level, make sure, you get an adequate amount of rest each night, develop an exercise routine to keep your body flexible, cut down on toxicating substances like coffee, tea or cigarettes and treat your body well with balanced food.

On the mental level, develop the habit of a good time management. This is especially important for dealing with stress that is induced by increased responsibilities or having to meet deadlines in your job.

Break down large projects into small parts that you can easily oversee and handle one part at a time. Do what needs to be done first and pace other tasks according to priorities. Identify your short term, middle term and long term goals to priorities your tasks.

Develop a support network to rely on in times of need and take direct action when stress arises.

To deal with stress that is self-induced through worries about possible future events, use the image of a peaceful event to quiet down your mind and to be here and now. Your body responds to your worries about something that hasn’t happened yet the same way as it responds to outer events that actually are happening. You can use that ability of the brain to deal with stress through positive visualisations.

Get clear what YOU need to do to reduce the stress.

If you would like support to learn stress reducing behaviour, check out the free courses and distance courses on my website. I offer distance courses on Selfgrowth, money, love, health or life in general.

In these courses, you can find and set goals for those areas that stress you and learn how to deal with this stress in a constructive way. On top of it, I shift the energetic patterns that keep stress factors in place.

Dr. Ulla Sebastian is a well-known author, trainer and psychotherapist. Her work spans a wide range of themes for professional and personal growth. Using forty years of research, work with thousands of people, from all over the world and a lifelong experience of self growth and transformation, she supports people to transform negative life patterns into an empowered and fulfilled life. Her Ebook: Beyond Suffering at http://www.visioform.com/uk/ebook-joy.htm contains a comprehensive description and a hands-on manual on how to move towards an empowered and fulfilled life. Visit her website http://www.visioform.com for free courses, distance courses, books, ebooks and articles

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