How do you spell relief? That was the tagline from an antacid many years ago but the question remains a mystery to millions today. With the rise of prescription drug abuse, obesity and a litany of other preventable diseases, America is in a state of emergency. Everyone wants to get over their stress, or at best become numb to it. The reality is you cannot escape the pressures of life, but you can at least learn how to better manage it.
Stress in our lives usually follows a certain pattern. It starts long before the manifestation of the problem in the form of procrastination and oversight. When we lack proper preparation for events, whether daily or annually, we can only look forward to suffering the consequences. A simple act of preparing the children’s clothes or packing the families lunch the night before can be the small thing that causes less stress the following day. We tend to focus so much on the factors of stress we have no control over and miss the things we do. By taking ownership of your activities and habits, you increase your odds of avoiding the disasters we all face.
We all get the feeling that life isn’t playing fair at times. The truth is, life is very impartial. Everyone has the same type of stuff to deal with. The difference is found in how they prepare and how they react. Most psychologist agree we handle events in a four step process called S.A.R.A. or (Shock, Anger, Resentment & Acceptance). The goal of life is to progress through these stages with as little friction as possible. The longer we linger in the first three, the harder life feels. It’s perfectly normal to experience shock and anger. From there we usually feel a sense of resentment and ask why this is happening to me? But in the famous words of the ‘Serenity Prayer’ “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,” It’s amazing how smoothly we can transition once we embrace those words. Here are the top four ways to manage your stress:
- Turn the problem into a sizable challenge: I have learned that most of life is really about how you see it. When something is a ‘problem’ it screams and intimidates. But when that same situation is viewed as a ‘challenge’ is simply stands as a task to be figured out. A challenge requires your personality and wit to be solved.
- Access your place of power: We are much more powerful than we give ourselves credit. A person’s true place of power is their personal testimony. Lodged in your memory is an arsenal of victories from the past. Use the momentum and the fact that you’ve overcome things like this before. Then take the first step.
- Make your next goal crystal clear: Most fail simply because they did not prepare. When goals are not documented and defined, they exist as distant wishes. Stop daydreaming and write it down. Get it out of your head and onto paper. Once there, you can better see what steps need to happen before and after to insure your success.
- Get moving: This may sound strange, but the human brain functions better with activity. Sometimes the best thing to do in a stressful situation is to walk away for a moment and go for a long walk or engage in some other physical activity. Something to stimulate your mental. This allows your subconscious to ponder the task without interruptions.
The bottom line is unless you live in a protective bubble, you will face stress daily. The real problem is not the stress but how we decide to address it. We all have our methods of managing it, but with a little empowerment we can face them with confidence that we will not be taken under. Stress is real, but so is the power to overcome it.
See you at the TOP!