'Stess Effects' Category Archive

Posted on Nov 18th, 2006

Here’s what you need to do. Schedule some time and lock yourself away for at least one hour. Somewhere quiet. Switch off the mobile phone, the television and devote this time to you.

You don’t need to sit cross-legged on the floor for this, but I want you to do some contemplation. Think about your everyday life. Run the video in your mind. Take yourself through a regular week. But pay attention to your feelings. Where does it grate?

What negative feelings do you have about any part of your regular schedule? What are the feelings? Why do you feel that way? Perhaps a job that you loved 5 years ago is now just a 9-to-5 grind. Why? What happened?

Write it down. All your thoughts. Try to identify where in your life you are stressed and why. Then I want you to keep a diary for the next week. If you think about this period of contemplation often, during the next week, I will guarantee you will find a lot more issues or problems. Write them in your diary.

By the end of the week you should have a comprehensive list of your stressors or pressure points.

You may also find a combination of circumstances pushing the boundaries on your natural coping skills. And don’t forget that recent house move or job redundancy.

Calculate your stress levels

Here is a test to determine how stressed you are. In the past 12-24 months, which of the following major life events have taken place in your life?

· Death of a spouse

· Divorce
· Marital separation
· Jail term · Death of a close family member
· Personal injury or illness
· Marriage
· Fired from work
· Marital reconciliation
· Retirement
· Change in a family member’s health
· Pregnancy
· Sexual difficulties
· Addition to the family
· Business changes
· Change in finances
· Death of a close friend
· Changing jobs
· Increase in number of marital arguments
· Taking out a large mortgage or loan
· Foreclosure of a mortgage or loan
· Changes in work responsibilities
· Trouble with the in-laws
· Outstanding personal achievement
· Spouse begins or stops work
· Starting or finishing school
· Changes in living conditions
· Changes in personal habits
· Trouble with the boss
· Changes in working hours and condition
· Moving house
· Moving school
· Changing recreational habits
· Changing church activities
· Changing social activities
· Changing sleeping habits
· Less family gatherings
· Change of eating habits
· A Vacation
· Christmas period
· Minor violations of the law

These changes are ranked in order of impact on your life. How many of these did you tick? The more you ticked, particularly from the top of the list, the more stressed you are.

Now that you know where your stress is coming from, it’s time to find some solutions. And there are many to choose from. The trick is to find techniques and strategies to suit you.

Now that you’ve started thinking about it, don’t stop. Resolve to find and and try one new technique every week.

The stress doctor provides advice, tips, tools and techniques for beating your stress problems. You can get a free short report "18 health problems linked to stress you should know about" or get daily "Stress Buster Tips" at http://www.howtobeatstress.com

Posted on Nov 13th, 2006

I came out of a nightmare 5-year period of anxiety and depression and I did it without taking any drugs. What frustrated me is that despite advances in understanding as to why people become stressed, depressed and anxious, sufferers are still told numerous myths about what causes their illness.

This raises an important issue: How can people rid themselves of the pain of these illnesses if they don’t know what is at the root cause? Surely, if progress is to be made, understanding must come first? Well in this article, I’m going to bust the myths and reveal what, EXACTLY, is at the root of these illnesses!

The first myth I want to bust is that a period of serious illness can cause you to become depressed. This could be anything from a nasty virus which confines you to bed for a month or something far more serious such as loss of a limb, cancers, injury, heart attack to name but a few.

None of these illnesses can cause depression, anxiety or stress. It’s very easily proven. Because millions of people suffer from serious illnesses each and every year but only around 20% of them will develop mental illness. If illnesses cause mental breakdown, EVERYONE who becomes seriously ill will enter into an episode of depression, anxiety or stress. They don’t. Why?

Similarly, we can assign the same explanation to traumatic experience. This could be death of a loved one, loss of a job, divorce or moving house for example. Again, every single one of us will experience traumatic times such as these in our lifetime. Yet not everybody enters into a mental illness, even amongst people who have suffered extreme trauma. So we can discount traumatic experience as being at the root cause.

Next on my bust-list is genetics. This is another frequently given reason as to why people suffer from stress, depression or anxiety. But it’s completely untrue. There is no proven link between genetics and these illnesses. In fact, rather than genetics, learned behavior from family members who suffer themselves is the only real link to a family-inherited disposition to stressful illness.

I’ve saved the most widely accepted myth until last and I’ll bet my bottom dollar this is the myth you are not just familiar with but believe to be at the cause of your illness. This is the reason given by the medical community and which has spawned a $12 billion drugs industry to combat it. The myth I’m referring to is of course depletion in neurotransmitters – the so-called “chemical imbalance”.

Neurotransmitters are “happy chemicals” which help to regulate our moods. So, if levels are low, we feel low. To boost these levels, powerful antidepressant drugs are prescribed to sufferers. Sure, they boost levels. But let’s ask a question:

Are low levels of neurotransmitters a cause or a symptom?

Well, every single human being on this earth right now will experience many occasions in their lives when things go wrong, when bad things happen, when times are trying – in short, times when they won’t be their usual happy selves. Now, during these times, their levels of “happy chemicals” will drop, and life will seem a bit of an effort. So, does this mean that everybody on the planet will descend into an episode of stress, depression or anxiety? Of course not!

And do we just wake up one day and feel depressed because the levels of neurotransmitters has “dipped below the critical level?”. No. Because that would mean we’d wake up one day and feel great because the level has risen above the critical point. You know this just doesn’t happen, even after taking antidepressants.

What’s interesting to note is that when we are in an episode of mental turmoil, we also experience physical pain, we cannot sleep or we sleep too much and the feeling of overwhelming exhaustion is also present. But if a chemical imbalance in our brain is at the root, how come you experience physical pain in your legs, arms, and more commonly, your back?

You can see that this is too simple an explanation. This is borne out by the fact that 70% of people who take antidepressants will descend into second and even third episodes of mental breakdown if they stop taking the drugs. This is because antidepressants treat ONE of the SYMPTOMS of mental illness – depleted levels of neurotransmitters.

It’s nearly time for me to say adios, but before I do, I will reveal what, EXACTLY, is at the root cause of mental breakdown. It is all down to flawed modes of thinking. Because the only difference between people who experience an episode of mental illness and those who don’t is all down to flawed perceptions, assessments, explanations and habits performed by sufferers

The following example will describe this more clearly:

Two people suffer the death of a parent. One is absolutely distraught and finds it very difficult to cope and descends into a depressive episode. The other, although sad at the loss, is coping and doesn’t descend into depression. The only difference lies IN THE WAY THEY MAKE SENSE OF WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO THEM. The actual event has no meaning by itself. The meanings only lie within the minds of the individuals affected.

To beat mental illnesses such as anxiety, stress and depression, what’s needed is to learn the powerful and effective mental skills – modes of thinking – used by people who don’t become stressed, depressed or anxious no matter what happens to them and which stop these illnesses dead in their tracks. Once you learn them, you will rid yourself of the pain once and for all.

Something a bottle of prozac will never achieve.

Chris Green is the author of the new book “Conquering Stress”, a special program which will show you how to conquer stressful illnesses such as depression, anxiety, panic and worry permanently and without taking powerful drugs. You can learn more about this new book and purchase it at http://www.conqueringstress.com

Posted on Oct 31st, 2006

"All emotions are pure which gather you and lift you up; that emotion is impure which seizes only one side of your being and so distorts you."
- Rainer Maria Rilke

1. The Law of Time

The highest payment you can ever make in life is the payment of time. Is it worth the limited time you have to hand it over to “stress” so it can mess up even more of your time that you say you don’t waste on “useless things” in the first place?

2. The Law of Willingness

In order to break the chain of stressors in your life you absolutely must be willing to experiment with and accept new ways of thinking, doing, talking, walking, behaving, and surprising yourself further with how the old knowledge can’t stay in your way of success any longer.

3. The Law of Flexibility

A closed-minded 50 year-old person may feel more strain in life then an open-minded 80 year-old neighbor. Who is more flexible? And, it’s not in the age, is it? The more flexibility you allow yourself to have, the more choices you create, the less anxiety and stress can pollute your new and flexible field of expanded awareness.

4. The Law of The Past

The blueprint from your past (fortunately) does not outline your future at all. That is, if you watch it! Planning for and judging your future based on your past may feel like living in “the past” indefinitely. Bring up your dreams in vivid, life-like imagery, sounds, textures, feelings, smells and touches to mastermind a new blueprint that you will change - again!

5. The Law of Resources

Learning and improving yourself every day is truly the only security you have. The more courses in The University of Life you graduate from, the more resources you have to increase your resiliency, awareness, understanding, and the craving to learn even more.

6. The Law of Simplicity

When a human life gets a major hit, the humbling lessons start immediately. Instinctively, we right away go back to the basics. Aim for establishing “Simplicity Rules” beforehand in your life as a prevention/protection against extremely taxing, easily avoidable times.

7. The Law of Change

There may be periods when you feel “stressfully stuck” and see virtually no way of bringing about the solution you need. There are two vital steps you can experiment with.

Step 1: Start quieting your daily life, begin to quiet your mind – learn to use meditation and breathing, go for a walk in solitude; Step 2: Ask questions of your inner mind that knows the answers. With practice, amazing solutions and changes appear like magic!

Lu Smith co-authored (with Di) a unique book. Discover over 367 Master Techniques to outsmart stress effects on health. Receive a Free 7-part e-Course

Posted on Oct 30th, 2006

Is has rained all day here in Tallahassee, Florida. It was raining when I went to bed last night, it was raining when I got up this morning, and it’s raining now as I write this on a Saturday evening. The temperature has hung around forty three degrees all day.

What’s your rain attitude?

A little while ago I went up to the grocery store to do a bit of shopping. I noticed how any different ways people handle the rain.

Some people stay in their car or in the store, as if the rain will hurt them somehow.

Some people decide all the regular rules no longer apply and create their own parking places.

Some couples fight each other for who is going to control the umbrella.

I watched 3 twenty somethings, two guys and one girl, having a great time trying to juggle one umbrella.

Some people continue on as if nothing at all is different.

To me the rain is fun. I don’t understand why people freak out about it. It’s not that much different from taking a shower, just with your clothes on.

When I have my boys with me and they see a puddle, I have to hit it with the car for the splash effect, or else.

The other day I caught myself hitting a puddle and making a big splash.

I was by myself.

It was a blast.

Visit http://www.TheArticleGuy.com for more leading edge tips and tools for writing articles that bring you prospects, publicity and profits. You can also subscribe to our monthly Article Writing & Marketing Tips Newsletter. You are also invited to visit my Express-Start Article Writing Program for more information on the next article writing tele-seminar.

Posted on Oct 29th, 2006

Stress - whether it’s from the hectic pace of your daily routine or a traumatic life event - can take its toll on your body. Prolonged stress can compromise your immune system, making you more vulnerable to serious illness and infection. If you stress is related to your lifestyle, it might be time to re-evaluate your priorities and slow down a bit. If life has thrown you a curveball, such as the breakup of your marriage or the loss of your job, you may have to ride it out. But, regardless of what’s causing your stress, it’s important to do what you can to counteract its harmful effects. Here are five ideas to get you started:

1. Change your perspective: You may or may not have control over the source of your stress, but you can control the way you perceive it. If you’re on the verge of a meltdown because you’re facing an impossible deadline, for example, ask yourself if the Earth will stop spinning on its axis if you’re a day late. If you’re dealing with a marital separation, acknowledge the pain and sadness, but internalize the knowledge that those feelings will lessen over time. Sometimes a change of perspective frees you to ask for that deadline extension or to feel your sadness but move on through your day.

2. Get moving: Exercise releases endorphins, which are neurotransmitters that act as a natural mood-elevator. If that’s not enough to give you a boost, setting aside time each day for exercise will help strengthen your body to more effectively fight off stress-induced illness. Be sure to make your exercise goals achievable, or you’ll run the risk of adding to your stress!

3. Take a time out: Schedule a period of time each day for your personal "time out." Whether it’s 15 minutes or an hour, block the time on your calendar as you would an appointment or meeting. Keeping your appointment with yourself must be non-negotiable, and don’t dare use your time out to catch up on household chores or read your business report. Spend the time in meditation, read a trashy novel, or create a flower arrangement - whatever will make you feel as though you’ve put yourself first.

4. Nurture your body: Set aside at least one hour a week to pamper your body. Get a manicure or a pedicure, or spend an hour soaking in a bubble bath. At least once a month, consider having some bodywork done, such as a massage, an exfoliation, or other spa treatment. Not only will you be able to soothe away your stress, but you’ll also let your body know that you appreciate all it does for you.

5. Reach out: Stress builds in isolation, so reach out to family members and friends. You don’t necessarily have to share what’s stressing you out - you just need to connect. Knowing that you have a solid support system in place can get you through the most stressful times.

Chris Robertson is an author of Majon International, one of the worlds MOST popular internet marketing companies on the web. Visit this Health and Beauty Website and Majon’s Health and Beauty directory.

Posted on Sep 21st, 2006

“The only constant in life is change”. Why, then, do we tend to resist it so much…especially as we grow older? While in my 30’s (a long, long time ago), I realized that I would probably have a difficult time accepting change as I proceeded into the “Autumn of my life”. Fortunately, I was able to recognize that constancy was more comfortable than change but that change would occur whether I welcomed it or not. And so, I began to introduce some fun type, little “training exercises” that “forced” me to change for my future. Also, I began learning and practicing “relaxation response” exercises as an added feature to help ease the pain of changing..

Some examples were on my walks, I would never take the same route in two consecutive days and I would vary my walking speed purposely. I changed my morning routine…e.g. combed my hair (I had hair then) before I brushed my teeth or place my shaving routine into a different order every morning. These artificial methods of inducing change seemed to have worked for me. Not that change is easy for me to accept but easier than I believe it would’ve been had I not consciously made those attempts.

They say that the more we try to control, the more we lose control. That’s because if the controls are unnatural, they will create more problems than help. In teaching thousands of people how to relax and “let go” I would help them understand that “in order to gain control, we must first learn how to lose control”. That’s not just “double talk” because the feeling of true relaxation of our mind and body is an unforgettable experience. Enjoy!

Refer to previous bio

Posted on Sep 15th, 2006

When it is all said and done, do you feel like you stay on an even keel emotionally most of the time? Here is a story about how easy it is to lose one’s emotional balance.

Recently, I was coming home from an evening business meeting in Tokyo. I walked a block, and like all good citizens do in Japan, when I got to the corner and the light was red, I stopped and waited for it to turn green before crossing.

Just as the traffic signal turns amber, to warn drivers to slow down and stop, a motorcycle and its rider slowly grind to a halt. The guy has on a backpack, there is a huge bundle tied to the back seat of the bike, and he has other stuff hanging from the bike handles. He looks like a homeless person who still has enough money to own a bike.

With the bike stops the man uses his feet to balance himself, just as riders always do. The only thing different in this case, is that the man and his bike are leaning quite heavily to the left, as if he has no sense of straight up and down, and can’t feel the pull of gravity.

He wobbles once… he wobbles twice… and then swoosh… . The man, his motorcycle, and all of the stuff he is carrying with him, slide down to the ground.

My first thought is "Wow, this guy must really be drunk, I better get him off his bike and make sure he can’t drive for a while." As I weigh all the variables that might be involved, I notice that everyone else is simply crossing the street as if nothing has happened.

As the guy struggles to get back up, the light turns green and now cars start to whiz by, and I get worried that he will get hit. So as fools often do, I rush in where wise men fear to tread.

I say hello in a loud voice to let him know I am nearby. As he turns to look, I reach out and take the handlebars and right the bike, and walk it over to the side of the road. As I had hoped, he follows along after me, dragging his belongings.

I put the kickstand of the bike down, and the guy starts apologizing profusely, while also thanking me and pointing out how clumsy and foolish he is in general. This act of contrition is a lovely art form in Japanese culture. And I must admit, for the average Westerner, it takes quite a good deal of trial and error practice to reproduce.

I smile at the guy, and playfully ask him if he has had a tough night, and a bit too much to drink. "No, no, nothing at all to drink." he says. "My girlfriend just broke up with me, and I am broken hearted. We divided everything up as equally as we could. I kept the bike and all the rest of what I am carrying. She kept her belongings and the sidecar for the bike, which she always rode around in with me. I guess it’s going to take a while to get used to no longer needing to balance her weight."

I nod my head and smile, to signify that I understand what he is talking about, and indeed, what he says, somehow really touches me.

We look at each other for a moment or two with a sense of brotherhood, and then his face suddenly livens up and he says, "Now that I think about it, maybe I’m the lucky one. I can still get around, but she’s left sitting all alone by the side of the road!"

***

As human beings we have an emotional system, a physical system, an intellectual system, and a spiritual system all working together (hopefully!) at the same time.

Homeostasis comes about when the dynamic range that a person’s multiple systems operate in, create a harmonious balance, and flow together at their optimum. Take in enough food to fuel the system, but not enough food to overburden the system or give yourself a negative emotional image. Take in enough oxygen to fuel your creativity and all of your physical activities, but not enough to hyperventilate. Depend on a friend or loved one to support you, but not to the point that you lose your own sense of balance, and self. Life is a balancing act, and as long as we are alive, the need to maintain, lose, and once again regain our balance, goes on constantly. We don’t so much maintain our balance as a constant. Much more so we need to lose and regain our balance over and over again.

Charlie Badenhop is the originator of Seishindo, an Aikido instructor, NLP trainer, and Ericksonian Hypnotherapist. Benefit from his thought-provoking ideas and a new self-help Practice every two weeks, by subscribing to his complimentary newsletter for individuals and professionals devoted to Somatic Intelligence. Read the articles of Leading Practitioners on Somatics and discover how intelligent our body is and why we should understand the language our body speaks. You can also try the Somatic Self Hypnosis Practice to understand how the way you use your body creates a different experience of the challenges you face.

Posted on Sep 2nd, 2006

Have you ever noticed what occurs when you are suddenly thrown into a high tension situation?

Does any of this sound familiar?

* Raised pulse

* Short faster breaths

* Shallower breathing

* Feelings of losing control

* Limbs twitching and/or shaking

* Feeling hot and clammy

OK, there may be more, but I think they are a good start.

If you answered no to all of them then, CONGRATULATIONS, you don’t suffer from stress (or any human emotion) at all!

Seriously though, such feelings are often the reason why people suffer from stress and anxiety in their everyday lives and, this is the point,

EVEN WHEN THEY ARE NOT IN STRESSFUL SITUATIONS!

The stress they feel regularly in pressure environments does not leave them and this leads to extended periods of tension, headaches, poor and shallow breathing, and often leads them to indulge in vices that exacerbate the problem.

Unfortunately this is the nature of society and, short of retiring to a mountain top for a life of solitude, it cannot easily change.

Not everyone can simply leave their jobs for example, it is not always that simple.

Alright then, what CAN be done?

Essentially, we need to spend some time re-training our responses to stressful and anxious situations. In a nutshell we need to develop AWARENESS of how we feel and which situations require a different response.

Obviously, this takes time.

Here are some practical steps to help alleviate stress related problems.

1. Practice becoming AWARE of when you need to apply different physical and mental responses. Meetings, interviews, and suchlike are obvious examples. How about while driving, many people are unnecessarily tense and stressed, and because it is such a common thing to do, we are not even aware we ARE overtly stressed while doing it!

2. Re-train yourself to breathe differently in hard to handle situations. Inhale deeply through your nose when anxious as opposed to reverting to shallow, fast, and erratic breathing. Now the important part. Allow the exhale to be LONGER. This will aid in preventing hyperventilation and will bring with it a feeling of calm control.

3. Check your body for muscular tension. Mentally scan down your body and feel for undue tension. If you do feel it, address it, and combine attempts at relaxing the relevant body part with your exhalation. Literally breathe out your mental AND physical stress and tenseness. Let it go!

Remember, you can learn to use such methods under everyday stress just like you can learn (and apply) anything. While many people resort to vices that really just make matters worse, deep breathing and all that it entails allows a person to go within oneself at any given moment and find a healthier solution to the problem of anxiety and stress.

(c) Tim Webb 2005 All Rights Reserved

Tim Webb is a fitness instructor, Ju Jutsu instructor and competitor. He specialises in easily accessible deep breathing exercises that combine breath and mind together. His site http://www.BreathForSuccess.com offers a product that provides deep breathing exercises for invigorating yourself, stress and anxiety reduction, and highlights how your breath can be tied in with your goals to move you towards them in record time!

Posted on Aug 17th, 2006

Have you ever had one of “those” days, weeks, months or years? Who hasn’t? You wake up, set your feet firmly on the floor, step onto the roller coaster of life and strap yourself in for another day. The ride is constantly changing. Whether it gently slopes or takes you careening around curves at 120mph and within an inch of your life, that’s all a part of the human experience. When you get off the ride each night, you may be happy, scared, nauseous, wind blown or on your way to the chiropractor. Whatever happens on that ride each day, if you make it in one piece, good for you, you’re a winner!

But did you have the experience you wanted to have at every twist, turn and drop of the ride? Sometimes we enjoy each aspect of the ride and sometimes we don’t. At times the ride is easy and yet, at other times the same ride can be difficult and exhausting. Why is that? The answer may be found in a personal change of view. Maybe its as simple as moving to another seat on the ride? We have gotten used to sitting in one place, but, if we take a risk and move around, we can alter our lives in a profound way. Why? If we shift our seat, we shift our view. A new view will change the ride for us and alter our experience of life.

Let’s assume for the sake of argument, that we will all disembark the ride safely each day. It may seem like a large assumption, but in reality, most of us do make it back to the safety of our bunny slippers and flannel jammies. Have you ever looked around at the other people on the ride with you? Have you noticed that some of them have their eyes clenched and breathe held? Other people on the ride seem downright serene. A few are trying to figure out the physics of the ride. Others are laughing and talking. Some are screaming with excitement! And then there are the riders waving their hands in the air as they plummet to earth. Where do you think you fit in? Are you a hand waver, a laugher or an eye clincher?

Of course, our circumstances change daily and our reactions are influenced by those circumstances. Birth, death, falling in love and losing hope are just some of the circumstances in life that people experience and react to. Could it be that our reaction to those circumstances is also defined by our viewpoint? Let me be clear, if you experience trauma, I am not saying that your reaction of sadness, guilt, anger or fear is the result of choosing the wrong seat on the coaster. But have you ever been in the presence of someone who is going through a tragedy with a hopeful heart? There may be tears, but through those tears, these people continue to see joy in each new day. They find the “silver lining” in grief. These are people who are masters at changing their view.

There was a time in my life that I would ride the coaster with my own eyes clenched, breath held and knuckles a pearly white. It took me some time to identify positive steps I could take to change my riding technique. My goal was not to become a hand waver. That would be too big a leap for me. But, I wanted to be a calm and happy passenger, laughing and enjoying the ride. And, I didn’t want to have to work too hard to make this shift happen. Here’s the game I came up with, maybe it will work for you too!

1. Make a list of views (seats on the roller coaster) that are empowering for you. For example, one of my empowering views is “trust.” When I am in the trust seat, no matter what I see or hear, I know that I will exit the ride that day in a better place. My list also includes; love, prosperity, action, intelligence, health, well-being and fun.

2. Make a list of disempowering views. My list includes; not enough (money, time, love), loneliness, anxiety and fear.

3. Take some time to do this exercise. It will take about 5 to 10 minutes.

a. Sit comfortably and close your eyes. Take a breath.

b. Feel your body in the chair. Feel your hands, head, arms and legs. Feel your feet on the floor.

c. Acknowledge sounds you hear and the thoughts that are in your mind.

d. Once you are fully aware of your immediate environment, expand the picture. Become aware of the room in which you are sitting and the building that you are in. Stretch that awareness to include your street and neighborhood.

e. Expand your awareness further to include your state, province, country and world. Become aware of your place in this world and the other people who share it with you.

f. When you have fully experienced your connection to the world, bring your attention back to your body.

g. Picture yourself on the roller coaster. Which seat are you sitting in? Is it on your empowering or disempowering list? Look around you. Take in the other people on the ride. They are smiling at you. They are not in a hurry. They are waiting until you find the seat that is perfect for you right now. Take your time and choose the seat that fits you in this moment.

Once you have your list of empowering seats, keep it with you. You may need to switch seats at a moments notice. The more you do, the better you will get at it. Who knows, we all may be hand wavers one day! Don’t forget to buckle up and enjoy the ride!

Jamee Tenzer, Founder of Life Works Coaching, is a professional career and life-balance coach specializing in working with women to create action and success in all areas of work, family and personal development. The foundation of Ms. Tenzer’s coaching practice is based on the principle that anything is possible through taking action. Ms. Tenzer operates from this perspective as she works with clients to take action towards the goals that inspire them. Her practical sensibility, professional background, and ability to motivate clients as they face obstacles, proves to be a powerful combination. Prior to becoming a coach, Ms. Tenzer enjoyed a successful career as a talent executive and producer in the entertainment industry.

For more information, or to set up a complimentary session, please visit http://www.lifeworks4ucoaching.com

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 http://www.stress-anxieties-solutions.com 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? http://www.stress-anxieties-solutions.com

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