A Note from Alyse: Stress is a part of life. We all do it, even though we know we shouldn’t. Stress negatively effects our health and our relationships, yet in some way, shape or form, we are all guilty of letting stress get the better of us. Whether or not you think you are coping with your stressors, or if you feel the weight of the world on your shoulders, this week’s guest post discusses a number of ways to deal with stress in every day life. Such a fantastic read, I feel so empowered just having uploaded it! Check it out!
A guest post by Psychotherapist, Jill Thompson from Thinkwell Counselling.
WHAT IS STRESS?
Stress seems as though it is a fact of life. Even the most well managed lifestyles experience some level of stress. Researches have for some time been correlating the relationship between stress and disease. The results? Not what we might have hoped for.
Stress is a response to the mind feeling threatened, whether it be at work, at home or on the road. Stress can take many forms.
WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF STRESS?
- Situational stress is associated with short term changes in ones life including moving house, going on a holiday, getting a speeding ticket or learning new skills. One of the best ways to understand situational stress is to refer to it as stress happening right now or in the moment.
- Chronic stress can be an accumulation of small stressors or the result of problematic changes to ones life including, marriage or separating from a partner, coping with pain or illness, redundancy or taking on a new project like building a house. While chronic stress is the experience of increased tension over longer periods of time, it’s the inability to regulate ones mood which is the most debilitating. Chronic stressors are related to factors associated with our environment, our social situations, hormonal changes, poor nutrition, inadequate sleep and the way we think. Chronic stress that is not managed or treated can lead to significant medical illnesses and anxiety disorders that can result in depression. Stress may contribute to physical illness such as cardiovascular disease and cancer – the body is a result of the mind.
HOW TO MANAGE STRESS:
AVOID UNECCESARY STRESS
- Know your limitations – Learn to say “no”, establish personal boundaries and stick to them
- Develop effective communication – if you’re consistently upset over certain topics and/or relationships, explore not what you say, but the way you say it.
- Review your priorities – If you have too much to do distinguish between the “shoulds” and the “musts.” Drop tasks that aren’t truly necessary.
- Manage your time better – when you’re stretched too thin and running behind, it’s hard to stay calm and relaxed.
ADAPT TO THE STRESSOR
If you can’t change the stressor, change yourself. Regain your sense of control by changing your expectations and attitude.
- Reframe problems – try and view stressful situations from a realistic perspective.
- Look at the bigger picture – take perspective of the stressful situation.
- Adjust your standards – stop setting yourself up for failure; set reasonable standards for yourself and others.
- Focus on the positive – reflect on your own positive qualities and gifts.
ACCEPT THE THINGS YOU CAN’T CHANGE
Remember some stressors are unavoidable. In some cases, the best way to cope with stress is to accept things the way they are.
- Don’t try to control the uncontrollable – many things in life are beyond our control. Rather than stressing out over them, focus on the things you can control.
- Look for the upside – when facing major challenges, try to look at them as opportunities for personal growth.
- Share your feelings – expressing what you’re going through can be very cathartic.
- Learn to forgive – accept the fact that we live in an imperfect world and that people make mistakes. Let go of anger and resentments.
MAKE TIME FOR FUN AND RELAXATION
Make sure that you schedule some me time for self care. It will reduce your stress, increase your productivity and boost your happiness.
Be sure to set aside relaxation time in your daily schedule and try not to allow other obligations to encroach. Try and do something you enjoy every day.
How do you manage your stressors?
If you’re interested in learning more about Jill, you can locate her website here: www.thinkwellcounselling.com.au