Thursday, April 30, 2009

FOXOLOGY: Put Stress To Rest, Not To The Test

Stress can be an alert, and indication that something physically, mentally or emotionally needs quick and positive attention. While we cannot have control over every circumstance, nor can we control the actions of others, we will best help ourselves when we learn to monitor and manage our stress reactors.
Here are a few ideas that may help:

1. Examine your emotions. If your stress produces anger, perhaps, it's inner conflict that needs resolving first. Ask yourself, "what is the real issue or problem here?" If anger is your common response to stressful situations, the real issue may be you, not the other person or the perceived problem.

2.Consider being more self-analytical. Try to rationalize, and ask yourself "what reaction would be a more appropriate response?" Think it through, then act.

3. Make an effort to remain calm. Instruct yourself to relax. You really do have the ability to take command of your attitude and behavior.

4. Try to communicate with tact. Choose words that support a positive outcome, not words that hurt and attack. Harsh language will only escalate the stress, magnify the situational difficulty, and possibly create additional problems to deal with. If you can't choose your words carefully, exit. Address the issues later when you are more in control.

5. Make a genuine effort to modify your thinking and behavior. If you are a person who always takes a catastrophic view of consequences, this will produce tremenendous anxiety and stress for you. You'll need to stop and think, fully and carefully explore answers in order to make a realistic appraisal of your affairs. It really isn't the end of the world yet.

6. Recognize that there are remedies. There are tried-and-true measures and alternatives, even if they don't seem apparent, that will aid in resolving the stress. This doesn't always resolve the problem itself, but it does relieve the negative impact produced by wrong perspectives.

7. Identify elements that you have no control over. Stop stressing over them. If you do have control, such a changing jobs or where you live, then do it.

8. Be motivated to manage and monitor your stess and stressors. Consistently challenge your current responses, attitude and behaviors, and before you know it, you'll put many of the problems and issues that test your stress to rest. By choosing stress remedies that work, anger, impatience and fear minimize and soon disappear.

When we make a genuine effort to change ourselves, we are making a genuine effort to improve the lives of those with whom we live and work. Stressing less should be at the top of list.


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