Stress Management is way preferable to breakdown.

Use Stress Management to Relieve Undue Stress

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How much is too much?

We each need a specific amount of stress to operate at our best.

For one person it may be optimal, for another, the same amount of stress may cause distress.

A situation with too little stress won’t have enough challenge for us to feel a sense of accomplishment and leads to lack of motivation and boredom.

Enough stress is perfectly manageable with all its ups and downs, leaving one feeling satisfied and comfortably tired at the end of a day.

Sonja Wilker Coaching Stars

Too much stress is usually as a result of too much to do and too little time, or at least, the perception of that. It could also mean that the tasks are too complex, that there are too many interruptions, too many changes of plan, without completion, a huge backlog with no end in sight, and so on. It leaves one feeling as though you are going at warp speed with unsatisfactory results and leaves you exhausted with no time for rest or pleasure.

Distress is when things are totally out of whack. Psychosomatic illnesses, excessive smoking, drinking and other obsessive behaviours may result as a lack of Stress Management. A dependency on sleeping pills as a result of lack of sleep and deterioration in relationships are likely. One is more prone to accidents and forgetfulness. We may get into the blame game, withdraw into our shell, or lose our tempers, often inappropriately. We will often feel exhausted, anxious, aggressive, or defensive.

Breakdown

If one continues past the point of exhaustion, physical or emotional breakdown is almost a given. Severe depression or coronary heart attack may result.

If you see these warning signs in any of your colleagues, please find ways of assisting, as s/he may be so involved with, or caught up in their problems, that they may not be aware of what is happening. Save a life!

Too much to do and too little time

I know you don’t have time for this, because that is the problem, you don’t have time, but…and, this would really help with your Stress Management.

List your tasks

Make a list of all the tasks you have to do by when. The best part of this is that it is then out of your head and onto paper. While it is in your head it feels like a burden. When it is out on paper, it is easier to make sense of it. You can see which tasks you need information, resources, skills, or money for, and can ask or motivate for that because you have it written out and proof of it. You are able to identify priorities, prerequisites, sequence, what is urgent, important, what can be delegated, dropped, postponed, and so on.

If you have it written out, you can plan a strategy, create milestones, and break it down into smaller, more manageable chunks with deliverable outcomes. Best of all, you get a feeling of control and achievement as you complete the tasks one by one and strike them off your list.

Before you have a Nervous Breakdown

Even though this may be really difficult to admit and be a blow to your ego - admit that you need help. Identify someone who can help you with your Stress Management and go and see them.

When you go to your superior to discuss an issue, remember to do your homework first so that s/he can see you have given it due consideration. Indicate what you are prepared to handle and what not. This will probably have an impact on your relationship. Your employers may not have realised what your actual workload is and give you an additional resource, or split the tasks, or they may not budge, in which case you need to make a decision whether you want to risk your life working for a company that does not appreciate your efforts.

Stress relievers:

  1. Exercise:

    If you are close to snapping, don’t do anything overly energetic, your body is already overtaxed. Walk along the beach, next to a stream, in a forest or botanical garden, or through an art museum, if that grabs you. Any movement of the body helps to get you more centred and less in your head (where most of your stress originates).

    Improve your physical fitness, but start slowly, ease into it.

  2. Therapeutic massage, facial, manicure, pedicure, haircut, or other pampering

    There are many disciplines to choose from to assist you with your Stress Management program:

  3. Martial arts, Tai Chi, Chi Gung

    Martial Arts and Energy work is specifically beneficial for Stress Management if your stress is a result of irritation, frustration, anger, or suppressed rage.

  4. Dancing releases feel-good endorphins

    Don’t stress yourself by trying to learn something new. If you can’t dance, just go bop to the beat of the music. You can even do it at home. Your kids might think you are the hero suddenly.

  5. Time in nature gives you the gap

    Sit next to water and watch it flow, explore a flower, watch the ants, birds or bees. Look at the way fallen leaves or twigs create patterns. Watch the clouds, look for shapes in them, or just enjoy the movement.

  6. Autogenic Training

    Practice relaxation and autogenic training. If you don't know what this is, ask me for more information.

  7. Alexander Technique

    Alexander technique teaches one to be aware and mindful of the body in any situation. Good posture healps with breathing and a more positive outlook on life as you face it head on.

  8. Self Talk for a more positive outlook

    Positive self talk in stead of negative chatter about all your failings and what you ought, should must and have to do. Identify what your expectations are that are not met.

  9. Chill! Relax!

    Take a break. Do nothing. Just sit. Go shopping, whatever rings your bell.

  10. Sing

    Singing is very good for the heart and can help regain balance through the vibrational healing that comes with singing.

  11. Music

    Music soothes the soul. Whether you listen to, or play music, it is really good for you.
    Register here for special deals on music Cds.

  12. Play, have fun, play games

    Play games to play, not to win. Play with the kids, wholeheartedly and with total abandon. Get into the mud, paint, whatever. Get messy as if you are a child. What do you consider as fun? Go help yourself to oodles of it, create it, do what you have to do to have fun, lots of it.
    For a wide selection of computer games register here.

  13. Laugh

    I am sure you have heard the old saying: “Laughter is the best medicine”. And so it is. Watch funny movies. Go for laughter therapy, read funny books, comics, anything that will tickle your funny-bone.
    Find your favorite movies or books here.

  14. Have some form of creative expression

    Do what you love best. Bake a cake, make model airplanes, knit, sew, potter around the garden, do pottery, drawing, painting, or anything else. Scribble, doodle, make mandalas, or mobiles of driftwood. You decide.

  15. Breathing:

    When we are stressed our breathing becomes shallow and speeds up.

    Breathing exercise to reduce stress. Close your eyes.

    1. Breathe in for a count of four
    2. Hold for a count of four
    3. Breathe out for a count of four
    4. Hold for a count of four.
    Repeat 1-4 for at least 3 minutes. Warning: Do not do this exercise while driving.

    Click here for a Breathing Meditation to assist you with Stress Management.

  16. Meditation

    There are various forms of meditation. A very beneficial one is a breathing meditation.

    A very good method is using holosync technology that helps you get a short-cut to learning to meditate. You get to a deeper level of meditation/relaxation much quicker than with the traditional methods of sitting for hours trying still your mind. This uses music and sounds to synchronise the left- and right-hand parts of the brain and leaves you with a feeling of great peace. Click on the link for a FREE trial of Holosync technology to reduce stress.

  17. Yoga stretching is excellent

    Any of the yoga practices gives you a feeling of space and slows your racing mind down, Hatha, Kundalini, Iyengar….

Signs of distress and a Stress Management system out of whack.

Behavioural symptoms:

  • Sleep much more or less than usual.
  • Drink more alcohol to drown sorrow.
  • Start taking drugs to cope.
  • Feeding frenzy; eat more than usual and getting fat.
  • Loss of appetite for no apparent reason.
  • Pull hair or losing hair.
  • Bite nails.
  • Don’t care attitude: can’t be bothered, disinterested.
  • More sloppy; neglect looks, personal hygiene and/or environment.
  • Workaholism.
  • Absenteeism.
  • Social withdrawal.
  • Jabbering, non-stop talking affects the heart.
  • Reckless driving, gambling, or other inconsiderate behaviour.
  • Restless pacing.
  • Mannerisms: Knee jerking, finger tapping, lip smacking, tics, grimacing.
  • Obsessive-compulsive behaviour like needless washing, scrubbing, cleaning, or excessive shopping, lock checking, and obsessive security consciousness.
  • Sudden stealing.

Mental symptoms:

  • Lack of self-confidence.
  • Low self-image.
  • Can’t concentrate.
  • Unable or difficult to make simple decisions.
  • Forgetfulness.
  • Loss of perspective.
  • Muddled thinking or illogical reasoning.
  • Inappropriate feeling of being under pressure.
  • Rash decisions.
  • Overly judgmental, not discerning.

Emotional symptoms:

  • Chronic worry and anxiety.
  • Irrational fear.
  • Panic attacks (not hormone related).
  • Nightmares.
  • Big mood swings.
  • Overly impatient, irritable with angry outbursts.
  • Crying for no apparent reason.
  • Oversensitive to criticism.
  • Insecure.
  • Depression.
  • More cynical than usual.
  • Overly aggressive.
  • Moping, or feeling of “they are out to get me”.
  • Feel hopeless, helpless.
  • Hostile or resentful.
  • Inappropriate feeling of guilt.
  • Anger spells. (see help with anger management below)
Online anger management class

Physical symptoms:

  • Tense muscles, backache, neck-ache, aching shoulders, etc.
  • Sweaty palms.
  • Undue cold extremities.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Dizzy spells.
  • Erratic breathing; often holding your breath, very shallow quick breaths or almost panting.
  • Knot in the stomach, cholic, feel bloated without reason.
  • Ulcers, hernias and other medical conditions.
  • Heart palpitations.
  • Nausea.
  • Clench jaw and grind teeth.
  • Bowel problems; chronic diarrhoea or constipation.
  • Frequent urination.
  • Shaky hands (not because of last night’s party).
  • Frequent Psychosomatic symptoms (hay-fever, asthma, migraine, flu, etc).
  • Get sick often.
Obviously some of these symptoms mentioned may be due to other reasons. We are rather complex beings. Usually it is a combination of things that cause the effects.

Miracle cure for most stress-related symptoms and illnesses

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Click on the link if you wish to read more about this Miracle Cure.
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Ways we cause ourselves stress:

Critical self-talk; we all do this, or have done this. Remember when you dropped something and you said “idiot”, “f- idiot”, “clumsy clod”, “stupid sod” or something to that effect? The tendency to put ourselves down is self-destructive and diminishes our self-image, which has a negative impact on our self-assurance and self-confidence.

We exaggerate or blow things out of proportion by saying always, never, extremely, incredibly and so on. We do this with others too by the way, not only to ourselves.

We highlight our imperfections, call ourselves “lazy”, “fat”, “ugly”, “naughty”, “boring”, “shy”, and so on. A sharp critic can be very damaging.

Unrealistic expectations; We have a list of what we must- , should- , ought to-, have to-, do, and an even longer list of what others must-, should, have to-, ought to-, do. With these expectations we set ourselves up for disappointment, especially if we expect anyone to be perfect, ourselves included.

We are perfect on a certain level and in certain ways….and we don’t always live up to our idea of perfect, nor do others, and that’s ok.

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Stress Management - Related Topics and Links

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Breathing Meditation - to reduce stress

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LOCATION: Kommetjie, South Africa - co.za

I work and live in Kommetjie, a far Southern Suburb of Cape Town, on the Atlantic Seaboard. Region: Western Cape (WC) in the Cape Province, (R.S.A.)

Places close by are Scarborough, Ocean View, Imhoff Farm, Capri Village, Masiphumelele, Glencairn Heights, Misty Cliffs, Simon's Town, Kalk Bay, Lakeside, Muizenberg, St James, Fishhoek, Noordhoek, Sun Valley, Sunnydale, and Milkwood Park.

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