I always hear that stress is relative. Certainly, it can’t be as bad as a relative – like a mother-in-law, can it?
Stress can mount slowly as if the very sands of an hourglass slowly climb around your feet, or it can strike quickly much like a summer lightning storm in the Southeast. But one thing is certain, given our varied shades of personalities we each feel the burden of stress quite uniquely.
HelpGuide.org, an online resource geared to help understand, prevent and resolve challenges, advises you to identify your true sources of stress by looking closely at your habits, attitude, and excuses:
- Do you explain away stress as temporary (“I just have a million things going on right now”) even though you can’t remember the last time you took a breather?
- Do you define stress as an integral part of your work or home life (“Things are always crazy around here”) or as a part of your personality (“I have a lot of nervous energy, that’s all”).
- Do you blame your stress on other people or outside events, or view it as entirely normal and unexceptional?
This past 18 months of brutal economic reality may finally be offering us a glimmer light. However, it has not been without its casualties: Many who were scrapping to survive have since closed their doors, so many successful businesses have literally hit the reset button on revenue and margins, while a special few report record earnings and profits.
I talk with so many who feel the pressures of work and home life each and every day. It would seem the human condition favors equating our very self-worth to the sum of our roles (e.g. son/daughter, mother/father, employee, manager, association member, etc.) – almost as if the more roles we assimilate the greater our self-worth. Sadly, it is often our failure in a single role which gives rise to self-doubt.
But all is not lost, and HelpGuide.org goes on to outline at least 5 stress management strategies:
Change the situation:
#1 Avoid the unnecessary stress
#2 Alter the situation
Change your reaction:
#3 Adapt to the stressor
#4 Accept the things you can’t change
According to the National Victim Assistance Academy, U.S. Department of Justice,
How you think can have a profound affect on your emotional and physical well-being. Each time you think a negative thought about yourself, your body reacts as if it were in the throes of a tension-filled situation. If you see good things about yourself, you are more likely to feel good; the reverse is also true. Eliminate words such as “always,” “never,” “should,” and “must.” These are telltale marks of self-defeating thoughts.
But perhaps the fifth, and most important stress management strategy is:
#5 MAKE time for fun and relaxation!
Ken Stewart’s website, ChangeForge, focuses on the collision between the constantly changing worlds of business and technology in an information-centric world. Get the latest industry news, and follow ChangeForge on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook. You might also be interested in reading more from Ken in his weekly column on MPS Insights every Tuesday.