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How to Manage Stress - Stress is Not a Disease

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Posted 11 October 2011 by Chris FarmerChris Farmer

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You may find the following will help with your Stress Management skills training.

How to manage stress - Stress is not a disease

The first thing to know is this: Stress is not a disease.
Stress is the trigger for adaptive improvements.

Indeed the absence of stress is bad: if you take all the pressure off a muscle then it gets weaker.
If you take all the pressure off a personality, it gets lazy.
Nature's law is: use it or lose it.

So pressure is good: BUT ONLY IF it is managed.
Stress is good: BUT ONLY IF it is managed

Knowledge is power:

Stress can be used only if it is understood.

In order to understand any topic, that topic must be analysed down into smaller units and each unit understood, one piece at a time.

Let us do that with the topic of "stress management":

Stress can be of three major types:

  1. Intellectual stress
  2. Emotional stress
  3. Physiological stress

Intellectual stress

Intellectual stress is the stress caused by a heavy demand being made on your brain: your intellect: especially if there is the added element of a deadline pressure.

Example: Struggling to understand some complicated algebraic theory, is a stress.
Struggling to understand it before the test next Monday is an added stress.

Emotional stress

Emotional stress is stress borne out of your emotional reaction to events that are occurring in your environment.

Example: Stressed due to being late for an appointment.
Example; Stressed due to being involved in a heated argument.

Emotional stress is also the stress you feel when you are reacting to your own visions of a dreadful future event (real or IMAGINARY).

Example: Stress from your imagined fear that the economy is on the verge of meltdown or that you might be made redundant sometime in the future.

Physiological stress

Physiological stress is stress induced by the environment: these could be environmental factors that you chose to submit yourself to and are in your control.

or those that are imposed upon you and are NOT under your control

Examples

  • You can be stressed by the suns heat and strong sunlight ( you can't leave the country)
  • You can be stressed by the loud noise at the rock concert ( you can leave the concert)

Here are some notes on how to manage stress in each category

Manage Intellectual stress with no deadline

Break the subject down into smaller units and take them one at a time. Remember that if the material as a whole is to be understood, then the units have to be presented to your brain in the right order.

Intellectual stress with a deadline

If there is a deadline pressure: i.e. you have to be ready before a certain deadline: Then analyse into sub units: place in the correct order and then Prioritise: learn the essential points and leave the details that are unlikely to come up.

Then learn your lesson. Resolve not to leave it so late, next time a similar situation occurs.

Emotional stress borne out of your emotional reaction to events that are occurring in your environment

Environmental stressor's are always there:

  • noise
  • other people
  • delays
  • unexpected problems

Try to distract your mind from them

Whist waiting at traffic queues - don't talk yourself into a frenzy
"Bloody traffic- How come there is always traffic when I'm late..... The government ought to do something.... I pay road tax to drive on the roads, not to sit bloody motionless.... IT'S NOT FAIR!"

Instead: Distract yourself with reminiscences, or music, or your plans for a brighter future.
"AH!.....Mozart's symphony number 40: my favourite!"

Stress over arguments

Don't rewind the memory of an argument and go over it endlessly repeating the performance in your mind and suffering the added stress of the repeat showings.

Learn the lesson and then drop it from your mind.

Emotional stress: when you are reacting to your own visions of a dreadful future event (real or IMAGINARY)

Notice when you are stressing yourself with your own imagination.

It is possible to drive yourself crazy with your own fears and anxious worry.

This is caused by your failure to:

  1. Notice what you are doing
  2. Control the direction of your mind

Reverse this trend

  1. Notice when you are stressing yourself with your own thoughts.
  2. As you are able to change the direction of your car; Learn how to change the direction of your thoughts.

These are two MAJOR life skills

If you can master these two skills, then you are set for life!
If not: you will always have trouble.

WHY?

Because you always feel the emotions that are consistent with your thoughts.
Physiological stress is stress that is induced by the environment

These could be environmental factors that you chose to submit yourself to and that are in your control

Or

Those that are imposed upon you and are NOT under your control

When it comes to environmental pressures: remember to feed your body all it needs: and to limit your exposure to the stressor:

  1. Always drink sufficient water.
  2. Always eat enough quality foods to give yourself the right nutrition.

Limit your exposure to stressors

Some sun is good for you; MORE sunlight is not better; there is an optimum amount and a toxic dose. Be wary of overdoing on sun light stress.

Limit your exposure

Some socialising in loud night clubs is good for you. MORE is not better. There is an optimum amount and an amount that represents a toxic dose. Be wary of overdosing on late nights.

Limit your exposure

Occasional overeating in restaurants is good for you.
MORE is not better.
There is an optimum amount of food and an amount that represents a toxic dose.
Be wary of overeating stress

Summary

The first thing to know is this: Stress is not a disease.
Stress is the trigger for adaptive improvements.
Stress can be of three major types:

1. Intellectual stress

Intellectual stress is the stress caused by a heavy demand being made on the intellect: especially if there is the added element of a deadline pressure.

Plan ahead; analyse, order and prioritise!

2. Emotional stress

Emotional stress is stress borne out of your emotional reaction to events that are occurring in your environment!

  • Notice when you are stressing yourself with your own thoughts
  • As you are able to change the direction of your car; learn how to change the direction of your thoughts.

3. Physiological stress

  • Limit your exposure
  • Always drink sufficient water
  • Always eat enough quality foods to give you the right nutrition

For more information about our stress management training visit the Corporate Coach Group website

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