Stress and Management (Part 2 of 4)

Life Story by Daniel | Monday, March 31, 2008 | 0 comments »

Previously we’ve discussed what’s stress and different types of stress.

As we mention in every one of us there’s actually different types of stress existing.
It’s not about how much stress that’s affecting us, but how we handle these stresses.

In our frenetic, fast-paced world, a lot of us deal with frequent or even constant stress.

Operating on daily red alert comes at the high price of your health, vitality, and peace of mind.

But while it may seem that there’s nothing you can do about your stress level.
The bills aren’t going to stop coming, there will never be more hours in the day for all your errands, your career will always be demanding but in fact you have a lot more control than you might think.

In fact, the simple realization that you’re in control of your life is the foundation of stress management.

Here, I’m sharing my personal thoughts and information I’ve found regarding Stress Management =)

Managing stress is all about taking charge: taking charge of your thoughts, your emotions, your schedule, your environment, and the way you deal with problems.
The ultimate goal is a balanced life, with time for work, relationships, relaxation, fun and the resilience to hold up under pressure and meet challenges head on.

As I always believe, work life balance is very important to every one of us.

There’s many tips or tricks regarding stress management, and I’ve categorized it into 4 different types of management or we shall call it strategy.

Strategy 1: Avoid Unnecessary Stress

Not all stress can be avoided, and it’s not healthy to avoid a situation that needs to be addressed.
(There are many situations in life where you simply must face it)

But you may be surprised, however, by the number of stressors in your life that you can eliminate.

Learn to say ‘No’:
Know your limits and stick to them.
Whether in your personal or professional life, refuse to accept added responsibilities when you’re close to reaching them.
Taking on more than you can handle is a surefire recipe for stress.

Avoid people who stress you out:
If someone consistently causes stress in your life and you can’t turn the relationship around, limit the amount of time you spend with that person or end the relationship entirely.

Take control of your environment:
If the evening news makes you anxious, turn the TV off.
If traffic’s got you tense, take a longer but less-traveled route.
If going to the market is an unpleasant chore, do your grocery shopping online.

Avoid hot-button topics:
If you get upset over religion or politics, cross them off your conversation list.
If you repeatedly argue about the same subject with the same people, stop bringing it up or excuse yourself when it’s the topic of discussion.

Pare down your to-do list:
Analyze your schedule, responsibilities, and daily tasks.
If you’ve got too much on your plate, distinguish between the ‘should’ and the ‘must’.
Drop tasks that aren’t truly necessary to the bottom of the list or eliminate them entirely.

Strategy 2: Alter the situation

When you can’t avoid a stressful situation, try to alter it:
Figure out what you can do to change things so the problem is avoided in the future.
Often, this involves changing the way you communicate and operate in your daily life.

Express your feelings instead of bottling them up:
If something or someone is bothering you, communicate your concerns in an open and respectful way. If you don’t voice your feelings, resentment will build and the situation will likely remain the same.

Be willing to compromise:
When you ask someone to change his or her behavior, be willing to do the same.
If you both are willing to bend at least a little, you’ll have a good chance of finding a happy middle ground.

Be more assertive:
Don’t take a backseat in your own life.
Deal with problems head on, doing your best to anticipate and prevent them.
If you’ve got an exam to study for and your chatty roommate just got home, say up front that you only have five minutes to talk.

Manage your time better:
Poor time management can cause a lot of stress.
When you’re stretched too thin and running behind, it’s hard to stay calm and focused.
But if you plan ahead, you can avoid these stress-inducing pitfalls.

Strategy 3: Accept the things you can’t change

Don’t try to control the uncontrollable:
Many things in life are beyond our control, particularly the behavior of other people.
Rather than stressing out over them, focus on the things you can control such as the way you choose to react to problems.

Look for the upside:
As the saying goes, “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.”
When facing major challenges, try to look at them as opportunities for personal growth.
If your own poor choices contributed to a stressful situation, reflect on them and learn from your mistakes.

Share your feelings:
Talk to a trusted friend or make an appointment with a therapist.
Expressing what you’re going through can be very cathartic, even if there’s nothing you can do to alter the stressful situation.

Learn to forgive:
Accept the fact that we live in an imperfect world and that people make mistakes.
Let go of anger and resentments. Free yourself from negative energy by forgiving and moving on.

Strategy 4: Adapt to the stressor

If you can’t change the stressor, change yourself.
You can adapt to stressful situations and regain your sense of control by changing your expectations and attitude.

Reframe problems:
Try to view stressful situations from a more positive perspective.
Rather than fuming about a traffic jam, look at it as an opportunity to pause and regroup, listen to your favorite radio station, or enjoy some alone time.

Look at the big picture:
Take perspective of the stressful situation.
Ask yourself how important it will be in the long run. Will it matter in a month? A year?
Is it really worth getting upset over?
If the answer is no, focus your time and energy elsewhere.

Adjust your standards:
Perfectionism is a major source of avoidable stress.
Stop setting yourself up for failure by demanding perfection.
Set reasonable standards for yourself and others, and learn to be okay with ‘good enough’.

Focus on the positive:
When stress is getting you down, take a moment to reflect on all the things you appreciate in your life, including your own positive qualities and gifts.
This simple strategy can help you keep things in perspective.

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Stress and Management (Part 1 of 4)

Life Story by Daniel | Monday, March 31, 2008 | 0 comments »

Recently there’s more and more news regarding increase of teenager suicide due high level of stress in school.

Stress is your body's way of responding to any kind of demand. It can be caused by both good and bad experiences.

Why do I say both good and bad?

When people feel stressed by something going on around them, their bodies react by releasing chemicals into the blood.
These chemicals give people more energy and strength, which can be a good thing if their stress is caused by physical danger.

But this can also be a bad thing, if their stress is in response to something emotional and there is no outlet for this extra energy and strength.

So, what causes stress?

All animal comes with basic instinct of survival, and human are a kind of animal too incase you don’t know that.
These instincts are called Survival Stress.
It’s a common response to danger to all animals.

Another type of stress is called Internal Stress.
Have you ever caught yourself worrying about things you can do nothing about or worrying for no reason at all?
This is internal stress and it is one of the most important kinds of stress to understand and manage. Internal stress is when people make themselves stressed.
This often happens when we worry about things we can't control or put ourselves in situations we know will cause us stress.
Some people become addicted to the kind of hurried, tense, lifestyle that results from being under stress.
They even look for stressful situations and feel stress about things that aren't stressful.
(Sounds serious isn’t it)

Environment Stress, this is a response to things around you that cause stress, such as noise, crowding, and pressure from work or family.
In another words, peer pressures could be Environment Stress too.

Fatigue and Over work is another stress that’s hard to avoid.
This kind of stress builds up over a long time and can take a hard toll on your body.
It can be caused by working too much or too hard at your job(s), school, or home.
It can also be caused by not knowing how to manage your time well or how to take time out for rest and relaxation.
This can be one of the hardest kinds of stress to avoid because many people feel this is out of their control.

After looking at so many types of stress, it sure does seem like any living things in this world can have stress.

So stop complaining about stresses and get up to work!

It’s very true that every one of us in this modern work is surrounded by different kind of stress.

‘Hey, you won’t understand how much stress I’m in!’
When you find yourself saying this, learn to understand everyone around you are in fact having the same amount of stress as you.

It’s not how much stress we are in that matter.
It’s how we handle these stresses that are important.

I too have been in a lot of stress at my work place.
Tight project schedule or deadline, heavy workload and long working hours with little rest or personal time.

But I’ll never complain about it, as I understand everyone around me is in the same amount of stress level as me.

Do you know when you’re stressed up, you’re part of Environment Stress Pollutant too?

When you’re stressed up during work, by bringing these stress homes, you’re actually giving pressure and stress to your family too.
This is why effective stress management is very important.

Now we understand what's stress and the effect of stress.
In the next few post, I’ll post more information regarding stress management and how can we effectively avoid these unneeded stress.

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Life Story by Daniel | Wednesday, March 05, 2008 | 2 comments »

What is forgiveness?

What happens if you don’t forgive?

Have you ever try asking yourself these 2 questions?

Forgiveness is when you are able to look at the person with whom you were so angry, and don’t feel the anger anymore.

Forgiveness is when you can look at the person in the eyes and say something like "So it happened. It’s over."

What if when you look at that person, you are still angry?
Or say something like "I’ll get even with you." and "How could you have done this to me?"
This means you’ve not forgiven yet.

You’re so mad with someone that you can hardly sleep at night.
You’ve been thinking “How could they do this to me!” or “I’ll never forgive them!” whole night.

Why should you forgive them when they did you wrong?

But do you know, if you don’t you’re actually doing yourself wrong.

Commonly, when you’ve not forgiven someone, you are in fact angry with that person.
Unlike forgiveness that involves only you and other party, anger can be harmful not only to you but also everyone around you.
(In another words, if you don’t forgive easily, it may means that you get angry easily)

Especially when anger gets in the way of your functioning or your relationships.
Anger can cause you to lose friends, or even put your job in jeopardy.

Do you know anger also tends to shut down the people who are around the angry person?
Angry people may find their relationship becoming less open because people are afraid to argue back. This can be devastating, and ruin relationships.

There may not be much physical side effect of anger, but there is clear evidence of increased blood pressure, and with increased blood pressure is a propensity towards a stroke.

All these are signs that your anger is getting in your way, and therefore it’s unhealthy.

Now, are you ready to forgive?
If not, are you ready to pay the consequences inside your body?

If a hammer hits a finger, it hurts.
If it gets hit hard enough, the bone breaks.
If it gets hit often enough, the cells die.

And getting angry often works the exact same way.

If you get angry, people around you pay for it.
If you get angry ‘hard’ enough, your life starts to break apart.
If you get angry often enough, your life becomes ‘dead’ when everyone starts to walk out on you.

So stop being angry now and start forgiving.

Get rid of your anger, and nurture your forgiveness.

Watch your health improve and your life change for the better.

Do this in regard to the people you work with, your family, your friends, your acquaintances.
Do this until it becomes automatic.

When you change your world, you change the world =)

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