Posted 21 March 2011 by Chris Farmer
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How to make stress make you feel stronger
Stress is a common problem, due to the difficult situation the world is in right now.
Stress can have two consequences:
1. Positive (excitement, growth stimulation and progress)
2. Negative (fear, exhaustion, overwhelm and sickness)
Positive stress management
Leads to excitement, growth stimulation and progress.
Negative stress management
Leads to fear, exhaustion, overwhelm and sickness.
You want one, and you don't want the other:
Stress comes in four types:
- Physical stress
- Environmental stress
- Intellectual stress
- Emotional stress
In order to make stress be a positive factor (in which case, stress is termed "Eustress"; the prefix eu- derives from the Greek word meaning either "well" or "good") we must manage the equivalent four corresponding elements:
- Physical body responses
- Environmental surroundings
- Intellectual work pressures
- Emotional responses
You can do that in the following way:
1. Management of your Physical stress responses
When you are under pressure, ensure that your habits are consistent with building up your strength, NOT depleting it.
In practice that means NOT:
- Over or under eating
- Overdosing on alcohol
- Missing sleep
- Neglecting your health
Positively it means:
- Eating well and in the right amounts- to give yourself the right body chemistry for the proper production of large amounts of energy.
- Drink plenty of water and fruit juices. Avoid alcohol. (Alcohol interferes with the communication between nerve cells and all other cells. Nerve cells talk to each other by means of neurotransmitters and alcohol interferes with these chemical messengers).
- Getting enough sleep: minimum: six and a half hours)
- Exercise three times per week
2. Manage stressful environments and surroundings
Do your best to manage your surroundings:
- Keep the noise down. Loud noise is a stressor.
- Keep the temperature right.
- Make sure you have sufficient air ( lack of good air is a stressor)
- Make sure you see daylight.
3. Manage the stress of Intellectual work pressures
- Don't take on more work than can be done in the time given.
- Don't argue for entertainment value.
- If in doubt, don't say it. Before you speak, decide for sure, that your message will cause you to gain ground, not lose ground.
- Break problems down to smaller sub sets and tackle them, in order, methodically.
- Don't endlessly fret over things you cannot do anything to change.
- Get on working on fixing the things you can change.
4. Manage the stress of your Emotional responses
Remember that "you feel whatever you are thinking about".
To manage your emotions do the following five things:
- Keep your mind OFF dwelling too much on all the bad things that MIGHT HAPPEN.
This list of items, (which is infinite) causes too much fear and worry.
- Keep your mind OFF the list of bad things that HAVE ALREADY happened.
- This list causes the stress of anger, resentment and bitterness.
Keep your mind OFF all the GOOD things that have ALREADY happened and that you cannot regain (i.e. the good old days).
This list causes the stress of "loss for things past, which cannot be regained".
- Keep your mind ON what there is in the immediate moment that you can do, NOW to make yourself BETTER, WISER AND STRONGER in the future.
This gives you a definite target to aim for and something practical to do with your mind.
- Keep your mind ON the GOOD THINGS that may happen, IF (and only if) you continue to work on becoming BETTER, WISER AND STRONGER.
- This gives you more hope and optimism, which is good!
You cannot avoid stress:
Stress is a fact of life.
So you should strive to transform stress into Eustress: positive stress.
- Manage your physical responses
- Manage stressful environments and surroundings
- Manage Intellectual work pressures
- Manage your mind
Do that, and all will be well........