Stress may be a part of everyday life but it doesn’t have to threaten your good health if you know how to manage it. Why did I say threaten? This is because I know that everyone gets affected by some amount of stress. There are a lot of things that bring stress to our lives, such as raising a family, going to work, driving and getting stuck in heavy traffic, dealing with some co-workers, associates or even family members can at times become stressful. These are unavoidable things so we all get affected by stress, the problem is when we don’t know how to control the stress in our lives and we allow it to become a threat to our health. It has been found that stress can be a precursor to a lot of sickness such as hypertension, heart attack, diabetes, headache, constipation and many more.
I have put together some strategy that may help you handle the stress in your lives or at least reduce the magnitude of stress. If you don’t manage stress it will eventually “beat you up” and trigger a sickness that will even be harder to treat. This information is just a starting point and is not claimed to be “all inclusive” so you’re advised to consult with your personal physician if your level of stress is so severe that it is threatening your life.
1. AVOID UNNECESSARY STRESS
There are life situations that cannot be avoided regardless of the stress involved, these need to be addressed. There are also stressors in your life that can be avoided and you need to eliminate them as much as possible.
a. Don’t hesitate to say “NO” – You must know your limit and stick to them. Do not accept every invitation, you should refuse added responsibility when you are already overloaded with work.
b. Avoid explosive topics – If you get upset over discussing politics or religion cross them off your conversation. You may recall all the “hoopla” that happened during the 2013 national convention of NAU USA in Los Angeles. That was a source of stress which may not be suitable to many people. If you always argue about the same subject with certain individual or group of people, you should stop bringing it up or excuse yourself when it’s the topic of discussion.
2. ALTER A STRESSFUL SITUATION
If you can’t avoid a stressful situation then you must help yourself by ALTERING it. This means figuring out what you can do so the problem doesn’t happen in the future again.
a. If someone or something is bothering you thus causing you stress, you need to communicate your concern to the person in a respectful way. You should be very careful not to attack the person in anger which may actually make the situation worse or even cause a resentment.
b. If you request someone to change their behavior, you must be willing to do the same.
If both of you make the necessary changes then you have a good chance of finding a happy middle ground thereby reducing a chunk of stress.
c. Manage your time. You should manage your time better because procrastination causes a lot of stress. When you suddenly realize that you are behind in a task, it’s hard to remain calm and focused in such situation.
Always plan ahead, don’t overextend yourself which will only increase your stress level.
3. ADAPT TO YOUR STRESSOR
If for any reason you can’t change the stressor then you must change yourself. You need to adapt to the stressful situation by changing your expectations and attitude.
a. You need to view the stressor from a more positive perspective. For instance if you are stuck on a traffic jam instead of getting upset and stressed you may take the opportunity to regroup, pause or listen to your favorite radio or music. If your spouse is not getting the dinner ready on time you may use the opportunity to water the lawn or help the children with homework or any other family task that need to be completed.
b. Adjust your standard – Do not always expect perfection which is a major source of avoidable stress. You need to set reasonable standard for yourself and others, when you demand perfection you are setting yourself up for failure.
c. Focus on the positive – When you are stressed and down, take a moment to reflect on all the things you appreciate in life that God has blessed you with. Think about your own positive qualities, the things you’ve achieved, your family and friends, the last vacation you enjoyed may be at the beach, cruise, meeting friends at a convention or anything that will put a smile on your face. This process will help you reduce stress and get back on your feet.
d. Get a good sleep – how many hours do you sleep at night? You must have enough quantity and quality of sleep to be stress-free. Lack of sleep is a major contributor to a stressful life, whenever possible take a break time or even take a “nap” in the day, this will go a long way in reducing that tension and anger that comes from stress.
Stress may be a part of life but it could also harm you with sickness or it could be a source of anger and tension in your family. May you have a stress-free life at work and at your homes.
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