In the sea of pink of this newsletter, did this title catch your eye? A healthy amount of stress propels us to get things done, however, the more stress that piles on, the more we start to feel it. And because we each know the symptoms we get under stress, such as headaches, irritability, fatigue, anxiety, pain, weight gain, burnout, and more, we start to fear the stress. Eventually we start getting stressed about being stressed. Herein lies “the vicious cycle.” Below are 3 ways to deal with stress and nip this cycle in the bud.
Stress Technique #1: Eliminate the stressor.
In order to eliminate the stressor, it is essential to pause for some self-reflection. What’s stressing you out? Take a minute and really thing about it. Is it finances? Is it a family member? Is it your responsibility for ___? Is it pressure to do ____?
If it’s work, can you change your position or leave your job? Can you give up your title as captain of your tennis team or the extra work you do with the PTA? If your commute on metronorth is too long, can you relocate? These are the questions you have to ask yourself and sometimes the solution becomes clear. Other times, you might evaluate the stressor and conclude that eliminating the stressor just isn’t possible. For example: If your 3 year old is having afternoon tantrums, the ones where they scream so loud you think they might rupture your eardrum, no matter how hard you try, you just can’t put your kid back. Some things you can’t eliminate.
Moving on to number two.
Stress Technique #2:. Cope with stress.
Once you have concluded that eliminating the stressor is not possible and you have finally come to accept that there isn’t a pill you can pop to deal with stress, it’s time to figure out your personal coping techniques.
Here a list of some ideas. Feel free to add to this list. Let’s just make sure your techniques are healthful coping techniques. A bottle of gin is NOT an example of a healthful coping technique.
- Mindfulness/Meditation: Try a Meditation Class, Purchase a guided CD, Watch a YouTube Video, or download and use a phone application such as Calm or headspace
- Epsom Salt Bath (add music, candles)
- Walk your dog or if you don’t have a dog, stop at the humane society and love on another dog
- Sleep / Nap
- Take a vacation
- Go to yoga
- Spend time with friends
- Sporting Activities (Sailing, Kayaking, hiking, golfing etc.)
- Listen to music
- Get a pedicure
Once you have a couple of these things on board, it’s up to you to implement them. Next we need to work on your head game.
Moving on to number three.
Stress Technique #3: Change your reaction to the stressor.
“Sure,” your thinking, “easier said than done”. There’s no doubt that changing your reaction is the most challenging way to deal with stress, but it is often the most rewarding. In order to change your reaction, try to gain an alternate perspective. I suggest reading a book. Recently I read “The Sublte Art of Not Giving a F*ck” and found it helpful. There are many others. You could also listen to a TED talk, or meet with a therapist. Again, just pick something.
With all of this, don’t forget to reach out for help. There are some powerful herbs, vitamins, and homeopathics that can help along the way.