Living with Stress
By Dr. Howard Peiper – Path to a Better Life –
It seems that there’s nothing we can do about our stress level.
The bills aren’t going to stop coming, there will never be more hours in the day for all our errands, and our career or family responsibilities will always be demanding. However, we have a lot more control than we might think. In fact, the simple realization that we are in control of our life is the foundation of stress management.
Managing stress is all about taking charge, taking charge of our thoughts, our emotions, our schedule, our environment, and the way we deal with problems. The ultimate goal is a balanced life, with time for work, relationships, relaxation, and fun.
Stress management starts with identifying the sources of stress in our life. Our true sources of stress aren’t always obvious, and it’s all too easy to overlook our own stress-inducing thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. We may know that we are constantly worried about work deadlines, but maybe it’s our procrastination, rather than the actual job demands, that leads to deadline stress.
To identify our true sources of stress, look closely at our habits, attitude, and excuses:
· Do we explain away stress temporary (I just have a million things going on right now) even though we can’t remember the last time we took a breather?
· Do we define stress as an integral part of our work or home life)Things are always crazy around here) or as a part of our personality (I have a lot of nervous energy, that’s all)?
· Do we blame our stress on other people or outside events, or view it as entirely normal and unexceptional?
Unhealthy ways of living with stress
These coping strategies may temporarily reduce stress, but they cause more damage in the long run:
· 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 to much
· Filling up every minute of the day to avoid facing problems
· Taking out our stress on others (lashing out, angry outbursts, physical violence)
Learning healthier ways to mange stress
If our methods of living with stress aren’t contributing to our greater emotional and physical health, it’s about time to find healthier ones. There are many healthy ways to manage and live with stress, but they require change. We can either change the situation or change our reaction. When deciding which option to choose, it’s helpful to think of the four A’s: Avoid, Alter, Adapt or Accept. Dealing with stressful situations, The Four A’s:
Change the situation: Change our reaction:
· Avoid the stressor * Adapt to the stressor
· Alter the stressor * Accept the stressor
1. Avoid unnecessary stress. Not all stress can be avoided, and it’s not healthy to avoid a situation that needs to be addressed. We maybe surprised, however, by the number of stressors in our life that we can eliminate.
· Learn how to say no.
· Avoid people who stress us out.
· Take control of our environment.
· Avoid hot-button topics.
· Pare down our to-do-list.
2. Alter the situation. If we can’t avoid a stressful situation, try to alter it. Figure out what we can do to change things so the problem doesn’t present itself in the future. Often, this involves changing the way we communicate and operate in our daily life.
· Express our feelings instead of bottling them up.
· Be willing to compromise.
· Be more assertive.
· Manage our time better.
3. Adapt to the stressor. If we can’t change the stressor, change ourself. We can adapt to stressful situations and regain our sense of control by changing our expectations and attitude.
· Reframe problems.
· Look at the big picture.
· Adjust our standards.
· Focus on the positive.
4. Accept the things we can’t change. Some sources of stress are unavoidable. We can’t prevent or change stressors such as the death of a loved one, a serious illness, or a national recession. In such cases, the best way to live with stress is to accept things as they are. Acceptance may be difficult, but in the long run, it’s easier than railing against a situation we can’t change.
· Don’t try to control the uncontrollable.
· Look for the upside.
· Share our feelings.
· Learn to forgive.
Remember, how we think can have a profound effect on our emotional and physical well-being. Each time we think a negative thought about ourself, our body reacts as if it were in the throes of a tension-filled situation. If we see good things about ourself, we are more likely to feel good; the reverse is also true. Eliminate words such as always, never, should, and must. These are telltale of self-defeating thoughts.
Howard, nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, has written numerous books on nutrition and natural health including 12 best sellers.
Create a Miracle with Hexagonal Water
New Hope for Serious Diseases
The A.D.D. & A.D.H. Diet
Zeolite Nature's Heavy Metal Detoxifier
Viral Immunity with Humic Acid
The Secrets of Staying Young
Nutritional Leverage For Great Golf
All Natural High Performance Diet
Natural Solutions For Sexual Enhancement
Super Nutrition for Dogs and Cats
Books can be ordered at:
Safe Goods Publishing.
Dr. Peiper is co-host of the award winning Television show, Partners in Healing. They feature guest in the alternative healing field including such names as Harvey Diamond, Dr. John Upledger, Dr. Bernard Jensen, Gary Null and Dr. Marshall Mandell.