Stress Management. Stress is the adjustment we make to any situation. This includes negative as well as positive situations. Anxiety Can’t sleep Over eating Upset stomach Fatigue Guilt Avoidance. Jealousy Nervous Irritated Headaches Need to escape Feeling “left out” Feeling “used”.
These are mental/emotional devices that we use to reduce the stress that we do not want, or feel we are incapable of handling well.
These “devices” seem to be helpful, but over time are very destructive. They prevent us from dealing with reality, and retard our problem-solving abilities.
Projection – attributing one’s own problems or motives to others
Repression – avoiding painful thoughts from entering consciousness
Reaction Formation – repression plus exaggerated opposite behavior
Compensation – excelling in other areasStress Management
Problem based coping
Emotional based coping
If we only blame our stress on the circumstance and have no awareness of how we are perceiving the circumstances it will make it very difficult (or impossible) to determine if emotion based coping is needed.
Awareness of our perception of stressful situations is essential. This is accomplished by asking: “What expectations do I have about these circumstances?”; “Are my expectations realistic?”; “Have I communicated my expectations?”; and “Are my expectations conflicting with others expectations that are also realistic?”
This type of personal evaluation may allow us to see how and why we set ourselves up for much of our stress.
Owning your own stress and emotions –
As long as we are blaming our stress on circumstances outside our control, or on others, we are putting ourselves in the role of victims. We are playing the role of the helpless, and will remain unaware of the possible choices we really have.
In reality, sometimes we are victims, but probably much less than we think we are – much less! Stress management requires that we search to determine what our role was in the relationship to the stressful circumstances.
By determining our role which will be some combination of actions, inactions, or expectations; we have found something that we can control or manage – ourselves.
This is the core of stress management – manage yourself. Not by controlling how you feel, but by controlling how you behave, and getting a handle on your expectations.
Many of us were taught backwards. We believe that if we feel right we will act right. This is untrue, and a close honest examination of your life will verify this untruth.
The reality is – if you behave right you will feel right.
There are no simple little “tricks” to stress management. Stress management means self management, and this is not always easy. In fact it is a life-long and sometimes arduous task.
The great benefit of this is that it puts the only person who should be in control of your life in control of it – you.
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