Saturday, July 7, 2007

Stressless Saturday

Be aware of your reactions to stress

We have both physical and emotional reactions to stress.

  • Begin to notice what events stress you out.
  • Figure out how your body reacts to stress. (I have a connection between my stomach and my brain…when I’m stressed my stomach hurts!)
  • Listen to your self-talk about the events that cause stress.

Decide if there is anything that you can change

  • Can you avoid the events that cause you stress?
  • Can you take a break if you can’t avoid it completely?
  • Can you streamline what you do to reduce your stress? Eg., recently I realized that every time I needed to print an envelope I had to reach to the shelf on the left side of my desk for an envelope, then put the envelope in the printer on the right side of my desk. It wasn’t a big deal, but I have streamlined the process by putting an under shelf basket directly over the printer.

Look at your emotional reactions to stress

  • The stress reaction is triggered by your perceptions more than reality! This article appeared in the New York Times on Oct. 31, 1938. A wave of mass hysteria seized thousands of radio listeners between 8:15 and 9:30 o'clock last night when a broadcast of a dramatization of H. G. Wells's fantasy, "The War of the Worlds," led thousands to believe that an interplanetary conflict had started with invading Martians spreading wide death and destruction in New Jersey and New York. The broadcast, which disrupted households, interrupted religious services, created traffic jams and clogged communications systems, was made by Orson Welles, who as the radio character, "The Shadow," used to give "the creeps" to countless child listeners. This time at least a score of adults required medical treatment for shock and hysteria.
  • Are you trying to please everyone? People pleasers are constantly stressed because they are trying to do the impossible!
  • Do you see even small events as a crisis? Work at putting situations into perspective.

Learn how to relax

  • Your breathing is the connection between your mind and body…slow down your breathing to stop your mind from racing.
  • Exercise to release stress.
  • Relaxation is learned…over time. It may be difficult to relax at first if you have been hooked on adrenalin. You will need to practice relaxation techniques so that they will come naturally when you face a stressful event.
  • Learn how to meditate. I use Philippians 4:6-9 as my basis for meditation: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable -- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy -- think about such things. 9Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me -- put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. (NIV)

Take care of your body

  • Eat healthy foods
  • Keep your weight under control
  • Don’t abuse your body with tobacco, alcohol, or drugs
  • Get enough sleep
  • Exercise
  • Play

Take care of yourself emotionally

  • Learn to laugh. Blessed are those who can laugh at themselves, for they will never cease to be amused!
  • Build close friendships. Research shows that healthy and supportive relationships can reduce stress and improve your overall health and sense of well being.
  • Be nice to yourself. Monitor your negative self-talk! Stopping negative thoughts and creating habitually positive self talk can reduce stress and empower you.

No comments: