I’ve lost track of the times I’ve read ‘Stress is a fact of life.’
This statement is both true yet untrue, at the same time. How can that possibly be? Let’s take a look …..
Well, it’s true that stress is a fact of life if we’re talking about the acute stress that protects us from clear and present danger. Acute stress is a natural and vital part of our inbuilt survival system.
The statement is untrue if we’re talking about chronic stress – the ongoing, accumulated stress that so many people today experience. It’s chronic stress that most people are referring to when they say “I’m stressed!” This kind of stress can be avoided and, what we can’t avoid we can manage such that it doesn’t impact adversely upon our lives.
It’s important that we proactively take action to avoid chronic stress because it can exact a significant toll upon us — physically, emotionally, and psychologically.
Why are so many people experiencing chronic stress?
The two major sources of chronic stress are excessive pressure and worry.
We all have many sources and types of demands in our lives, all of which have the potential to create pressure. When that pressure builds to the point where we believe we can no longer cope, the pressure has become excessive.
We all worry. When worry helps us to solve real problems it’s serving a useful purpose. Worry becomes a problem when we consider the future and, think that we know what will happen, and that it’s going to be bad. That’s when our mind perceives a threat and we experience stress.
You can avoid and/or cope with chronic stress
The good news is there are loads of proven, effective strategies you can use to help you avoid excessive pressure and worry and thus avoid chronic stress.
And when it’s not possible or feasible to avoid pressure, or problematic worry, there are plenty of proven, effective strategies you can use to help you cope with the resulting stress.
Avoiding Chronic Stress
One way of avoiding excessive pressure is list all of the demands you are currently facing and then allocate each demand to one of the following quadrants: important and urgent; important and not urgent; urgent and not important; not urgent and not important. Many people are surprised to find, when they do this exercise, how many demands are in the urgent and not important; not urgent and not important quadrants. By letting go of these unimportant demands there is an immediate drop in the amount of pressure felt.
An effective way of avoiding worry is to challenge your thoughts and change the way you interpret and give meaning to them. This takes some practice but, has a huge pay-off long-term. Once you know how to challenge negative thoughts and avoid jumping to conclusions you can shrink the role worry plays in your life and avoid a lot of stress.
Coping with Chronic Stress
Probably the easiest and yet one of the most effective ways of coping with stress is to regularly practice a diaphragmatic breathing technique like 7/11. Breathing techniques switch on the relaxation response and switch off the ‘fight or flight’ stress response (the two responses can’t be ‘on’ at the same time), thus breaking the repetitive ‘stress cycle’. Just a couple of minutes of deep breathing every hour can be hugely beneficial.
How I can help you
If you are struggling with anxiety or stress, I can help you to master them and to start enjoying life fully again. Just call me on 021 056 8389 or email email@example.com with your name & number, or use the Book Now button below.
REMEMBER – “When you change your mind you change your life.”
Tony helps people of all ages live their lives free of unnecessary stress, anxiety and depression, and be happier, healthier and more fulfilled.