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“Stress?  I don’t have time for stress!”
By Christian Schoepke.

Stress relates to any kind of change in your emotional or physical state.  While there is positive stress, such as entering a relationship, getting promoted, as well as doing physical exercise, like weight-lifting or endurance training which strengthens your body, negative stress may contribute to the deterioration of your body.  You feel “stressed” when you are facing a situation that you were not prepared for;  at work, in a relationship, concerning your home or car, facing a new environment or climate, of hormonal or allergic nature, or when overestimating your body’s physical capabilities.  The result is a change in your state of health.

The two most powerful ways to de-stress are to come to the full realization of a now-changed situation and then be able to react accordingly, as well as to prepare yourself in advance of experiencing any actual change.  Being able to evaluate oneself objectively is the hardest lesson of them all, as most people find it almost impossible to block out the world the way we want it to be, versus seeing it for what it really is.  Psychotherapists play an important role in objectively analyzing one’s state of mind and its causes, as they prompt you to ask yourself tough questions, while helping you to consider every aspect of your life in the quest to find even tougher answers.  However, assuming a clear head can also be achieved by taking a “time out.”  Approximately 10% of its population, or 20 million Americans have practiced Yoga, Tai Chi, or some other sort of meditation within the last year. 
In addition:

  • Regular exercise, a healthy diet, regular sleep, low alcohol consumption, and no smoking are the components that make up a healthy lifestyle that is more resilient to the effects of drastic change.
  • Get organized.  Having the fundamentals in your life covered can be crucial at points when things seem to be falling apart.  That may require you to adopt new habits at times when everything goes according to plan, such as clearing that desk by the end of the work day, introducing a filing system that leaves every important document accessible at arms length, and making sure that the preparations for important dates are being addressed well in advance.
  • Set boundaries while defining your levels of tolerance.  You need to be able to ensure that you do not over-extend yourself when bending the rules for others.  There is no point to constantly give others a break in your relationship, at work, or in your social circle, if all you feel is exploited or devastated at the worst of times.  This way, you can also ensure that you are helping others for the right reasons, staying true to your values from the very beginning.
  • Take time for yourself and make sure your needs are met.  Being able to plan ahead for activities that serve as a balance to the demands and expectations that you have to meet on a regular basis is crucial.  It enables you to not only experience a change of scenery, but also leaves you invigorated to face the daily challenges that are being thrown your way.  “Work hard, play hard” is not only a tag line, but an active choice in lifestyle.
  • Surround yourself with good people.  Being part of a community that supports you is once again significant in your ability to in-turn perform a supportive role in that very same community.  You cannot expect yourself to be the one who keeps on giving, while others drench you of your thirst for life.
  • Be positive.  You can only be perceived as successful and caring a person as much as you love, respect, and care for yourself.  Being able to put things in a positive light is also important in working towards and defining solutions in situations when the going gets rough.  That does not mean you should take every grain of salt with a smile.  Being positive means being realistic with a positive outlook, not being blind to the circumstances you are really facing at a given point.

De-stressing means to build awareness of your surroundings, while taking charge of the power to make choices that create a sense of empowerment in your life.  It is these two things that enable you to live a fuller life in light of the negative experiences that you come in contact with on a daily basis; without putting blinders on, but by standing up to the challenges that help you grow beyond your present self




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