Thursday September 18 , 2014

STRESS


 






 

 



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Identify the sources of stress in your life


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Stress management starts with identifying the sources of stress in your life. This isn’t as easy as it sounds and you need to spend some time thinking about this and being honest with yourself.  Your true sources of stress aren’t always obvious, and it’s all too easy to overlook your own stress-inducing thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Sure, you may know that you’re constantly worried about work deadlines your love life,  money problems and maybe even about the children,  but  maybe it’s your procrastination, rather than the actual job demands, that leads to deadline, familt and emotional stress.

We are not always truithful with ourselves and we often do not take responsibility for our own actiuons and would rather cast blame on others rather than take responsibility.  
To identify your true sources of stress, look closely at your habits, attitude, and excuses:

  • Do you explain away stress as temporary  - “I just have a million things going on right now”  even though you can’t remember the last time you took a break?
     
  • Do you define stress as an integral part of your work or home life - “Things are always crazy around here” or as a part of your personality   -  “I have a lot of nervous energy, that’s all”.
     
  • Do you blame your stress on other people or outside events, or view it as entirely normal and unexceptional?

Until you accept responsibility for the role you play in creating or maintaining your stress ( and remember, IT IS YOUR STRESS ) , your stress level will remain outside your control.
 

 

Think about the ways you currently manage and cope with stress in your life. Your stress journal can help you identify them. Are your coping strategies healthy or unhealthy, helpful or unproductive? Unfortunately, many people cope with stress in ways that compound the problem.

Unhealthy ways of coping with stress

These coping strategies may temporarily reduce stress, but they cause more damage in the long run:  Most will have a negative effect on your health and will leave you worse off in the long run.

  • Smoking.
  • Drinking too much.
  • Overeating or undereating.
  • Zoning out for hours in front of the TV or computer.
  • Withdrawing from friends, family, and activities..
  • Using pills or drugs to relax.
  • Sleeping too much.
  • Procrastinating.
  • Filling up every minute of the day to avoid facing problems.
  • Taking out your stress on others (lashing out, angry outbursts, physical violence).

 

If your methods of coping with stress aren’t contributing to your greater emotional and physical health,  then it is  time to find healthier alternatives. There are many healthy ways to manage and cope with stress, but they all require change. You can either change the situation or change your reaction. When deciding which option to choose, it is always helpful to think of the four As: Avoid, Alter, Adapt, or Accept.

Since everyone has a unique response to stress, there is no “one size fits all” solution to managing it. No single method works for everyone or in every situation, so experiment with different techniques and strategies. Focus on what makes you feel calm and in control.

For me personally:  If after a bad day when I have been stressed and I might have barked at someone for getting in my way and slowing me down, or who I consider did something wrong and I told them so;-   at night before I go to sleep I rewind the day in my head and review what has happened, and on those bad days I lie there hating myself;-   hating that side of me that reacted so badly and knowing that my reaction was bad.  I beat myself i my mids eyc anf torture myself dreadfully.  
I can lay there doing this most of the night and not sleeping - which really does not help the situation at all.  I know how bad I feel because of my  actions and reactions to stress and I have a choice of what I will feel like at bedtime - Good or Bad - and this has to do with how I coped with stress during the day, and I always have a choice about how I choose to react - or not - to any given situation.  These days as much as I can., I choose to keep calm and so feel good about myself when I go to bed and do not feel the need to beat myself up at all.
Not all stress can be avoided, and it’s not healthy to avoid a situation that needs to be addressed. You may be surprised, however, by the number of stressors in your life that you can eliminate.

 

  • Learn how to say “no” – Know your limits and stick to them. Whether in your personal or professional life, refuse to accept added responsibilities when you’re close to reaching them. Taking on more than you can handle is a surefire recipe for stress.  I have learned this one personally and now do not accept more and more and value m,y own free time without someone always pressuring me for something, because now I have learned to say NO.
     
  • Avoid people who stress you out – If someone consistently causes stress in your life and you can’t turn the relationship around,  then simply limit the amount of time you spend with that person or end the relationship entirely.  It is sad - but sometimes we just have to loose people we are close to because they are not good for us. 
     
  • Take control of your environment – If the evening news makes you anxious, turn it off.   If traffic’s got you tense, take a longer but less-traveled route. If going to tTesco is an unpleasant chore, do your shopping online.
     
  • Avoid hot-button topics – If you get upset over religion or politics, cross them off your conversation list. If you repeatedly argue about the same subject with the same people, stop bringing it up or excuse yourself when it’s the topic of discussion.
     
  • Pare down your to-do list – Analyze your schedule, responsibilities, and daily tasks. If you’ve got too much on your plate, distinguish between the “shoulds” and the “musts.” Drop tasks that aren’t truly necessary to the bottom of the list or eliminate them entirely.
     
  • Breath. Never stop breathing. We tend not to breath deeply when stressed or anxious and this really adds to the stress and anxiety in ways we cannot imagine. Many tell me I am daft the way I go on and on about the breath, but if you keep taking nice long, slow, deep breaths and let them out through your mouth,  you will settle down and feel much calmer.  Alternatively - take yourself off somwhere private, sit down, and for just 2 or 3 minutes,  do some circular breathing ( long slow deep breaths in and out through the mouth without stopping between in and out )  and although you might feel a little light headed - keep going and fill the 2 or 3 monutes totally before returning your breath to normal, staying seated for another couple of minutes while you breath normalls, and see how relaxed you feel.

 

 

  • Express your feelings instead of bottling them up. 
     
  • Be willing to compromise. 
  • Be more assertive. 
  • Reframe problems. 
  • Think things through before you start a new job.
  • Breath.
  • Keep smiling.
  • Look at the big picture. 
  • Adjust your standards. 
  • Focus on the positive. 
  • Manage your time better. 

     

 

 

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