Every year, millions of people are diagnosed with stress-related problems. However, the consultation with the doctor is usually due to a physical problem that has arisen as a result of stress. What are some of these problems? Well, these may include:

Headaches
Sleep Disorders
Tiredness and Fatigue
Excess or Loss of Appetite
Back, Neck or Jaw Pain or Suffering
Panic Attacks
Irritation
Depression
Change in Blood Pressure
Coronary Diseases
Increased Cholesterol
Erectile Dysfunction

“Okay, I understand how bad this is, so how do I deal with this?”

First of all, we have to understand that stress is a normal part of life. In fact, and to a certain degree of common sense, it is desirable. How dry (or stressful) would a life be if there were no challenges?

A very useful way to analyze stress in your life is to keep a stress diary in your everyday life. This can include notes about any event that triggers negative feelings. The notes should include the time, place (e.g. in the kitchen), the event that took place (or is taking place), your feelings related to it and a number between 1 and 10 that tells you how intense the level of stress is.

Keeping this diary for a week or so will highlight the types of situations to which you are subject that make you feel stress or anxiety and the feelings associated with these events. You will then be able to better assess the situation and intervene in what matters.

A source of stress for many people is their job.

If you are under a huge amount of pressure at work. For example, do you really want to be at that job/company? What do you get: status, a good income, power, all the above? Is it worth exchanging your health and possibly your relationships for these things? Do you honestly like your job?

Imagine that finally, after all your long hours, missed lunches, poor diet and weekend jobs have finally got their reward… and you die on your desk after a heart attack. Your boss and coworkers go to your funeral. While you’re being lowered to earth for a long sleep, what could be the topic of conversation?

How spectacular has your work effort been over the years, your incredible work ethic, the fact that you are a real asset to the company, how would you replace it? Or, who will continue that project that failed to finish?

The house, with its demands and needs is another source of stress.

Will your partner be stressed as well as your children? Try to be sensitive to the stress experienced by others around you. Our behaviour always affects others. Sometimes we forget that children also have stress in their lives. How much fun were the days at school for you? Can you remember the pressure of homework, projects, fights between friends, hormones everywhere, etc.? As adults, these seem so trivial and easily managed, but it wasn’t like this before.

Money, or the lack of it, is an area where many feel stress. In essence, you must accept that you have a problem and that the solution will require necessary but not very pleasant changes. Do simple things like start a budget and monitor expenditure. Maybe take advice from a specialist economist and reschedule payments to your creditors. Do things to reduce expenses. stress children

Some practical advice:

Try to put stress into perspective. Does this thing I’m doing really deserve to make me feel this bad? Maybe it’s all the other irritations that happen during the day that bring me to this point?

If it’s work, think about changing your work with a change in your lifestyle.

If it’s home and family, sit down together regularly, like at meals, and talk. Yes, communicating means turning off the TV (the horror, the shock) and listening to each other.

Try the following:

A weekend camp trip with the family. Forget about spiders and creepy crawlies and it will be fun! You don’t need a mobile phone, laptop or internet connection, just a can opener, sleeping bags and a stove.

Stress Play hide and seek or cowboys and Indians with the family. Come on! Be a child again! Or even better: a pillow fight (clean the room of broken objects, or it will be madness). Sounds silly? Try and rediscover the fun.

What about: meditation, Chi Kung, Tai Chi, reading (books, not newspapers), rediscovering your spirituality, cycling with your family, rediscovering how to smile, etc. These activities don’t have to be expensive and can put you back in sync with those you love at fun moments that are memorable.

There are too many opportunities to list, but I hope I have stimulated you in a sense of thought and action.

Comments to Conclude

I have covered a lot of material in this article and I believe you will find it of value.

The pressures placed by society will continue and in all likelihood increase over time. However, I hope you now have a better understanding of your stress in particular and your condition in general, and that you will now be able to deal with all problems from a better position. There is only a very limited possibility that you can control the external stressors. Where you have complete control is how you decide to interpret these events.

Certainly the decision to change takes great courage, because you have to accept that you have to take responsibility for your life. Therefore, by reading and acting on the advice contained in these pages, you have shown that same courage and given yourself a precious gift: that of being able to have a more enjoyable and full life.

External events will always affect us, but it is the way we see them that can cause us emotional damage.