“If your teeth are clenched and your fists are clenched, your lifespan is probably clenched.” -Terri Guillemets
Stress management is a hot topic with the release of the Stress in America survey last week. This annual survey helps to pinpoint sources of American’s stress level. It reveals sources in reference to gender, generation, and stress triggers.
According to this American Psychological Association survey, the top causes of stress in 2012 were money, work, the economy, family responsibilities, relationships, family health problems, and personal health concerns.
Although more people were concerned with healthy choices and the need to reduce stress, folks were having a difficult time achieving their health goals. These reasons include lack of willpower, lack of time, the cost of making changes and stress itself.
Are we getting numb to stress?
You may find that stress experienced on a daily basis may be manageable. However, a high level of stress can eventually be thought of as normal every day occurrence. Chronic stress that doesn’t change can lead to health issues. Ignoring anxiety won’t make it go away. It will manifest in other parts of your life, such as poor sleep and agitation. What if you believed there were other healthy options to cope with your anxiety?
How you see stress makes a difference
Stress is perceived differently with each individual. What can seem devastating to one person might not affect the next person at all. Your thoughts and reaction to stress is the key. A friend, I’ll call Janice, was overwhelmed with starting a side home business. She worked as an office manager during the day and handled home responsibilities with her family at night. After everyone was tucked into bed, Janice worked on developing her new business.
“I want to do something different with my life and help other people with my product and ideas,” she said.” It just seems like I’m always behind and I never feel caught up. I don’t have any time for me.”
You see, Janice saw her life as unmanageable when in fact she was paving her way to freedom. She looked at what was directly in front of her rather than the big picture.
You have choices in self- care.
Stress can seem overwhelming, leading some to believe that there is nothing to do about issues other than to endure them. Believe you have choices, even if you can’t see what other options are available.
Pick one response to stress you would like to change. Changing your reaction to stress doesn’t mean you need to shift everything at once. For example, a goal might be to eat healthier foods. However, you find yourself pushed and not planning meals during the day. Explore your choices in healthier eating. Maybe you choose to pack your lunch or pick healthier restaurants for meals. Making one healthier choice can lead to putting another change in place.
This is just one example of how to shift your stress behavior and overcome your barriers to a healthy life. Reach out for help if it is difficult to see how to manage our stress differently by contacting a health professional or coach. Your health does depend on it.
What stressful problem would you like you change? Leave you comments below.