Stress is the spice of life not a disease that everybody must live with. While it is true that chronic and excessive stress can destroy your joy and peace, well managed stress can challenge and toughen you for major accomplishment. Like fire, stress can be very beneficial and a key part of a healthy productive life but it can also devastate us.
In reality, managing stress is not all that complicated but it does need our attention and we need to learn the basics of using it to our benefit and not be destroyed by it. Here are three simple yet powerful skills that I call the ABC’s of stress management: Awareness, Balance and Control.” These simple guidelines are the cornerstone of developing the stress hardiness needed to enjoy life and be productive in our busy world. You can use these anytime and anywhere and maximize the thrill of living. The good news is that most people simply need to take a moment and back off for a few minutes, take a deep breath and become aware of what is stressing them.
Awareness of our primary stressors and how they are affecting us is one of the first and most important factors in managing and enjoying the stresses of your life. Think through what are your primary stressors and find a good stress assessment tool that will objectively tell you how stress is affecting you.
Balance is learning how to keep our busy lives in perspective. Once you figure out what balance is for you and can maintain it, you are well on the road to enjoying the stress of your life. Are you taking time for rest, physical activity and personal and family time? Are you working realistic hours and balancing work and play? Only you can answer these questions for you.
Control is taking charge of all of your stressors. That is those of which you have control. We all have some stressors for which we do not have control, (i.e. a sudden life threatening illness, divorce, a friend or family member seriously injured or killed in an accident) but you will be surprised that you can take control of most of your significant stressors. Yes, you do have more control than you might think. Suppose for instance that this year has been a particularly stressful year for you. Then this may not be the time to volunteer to lead Boy Scouts or Girl Guides or even take on added personal projects. The body does not readily distinguish between positive and negative stressors both can be equally beneficial or harmful. They are beneficial if we have the stress hardiness needed to manage them or harmful, even if it is a positive stressor, if the event or activity puts you over into excessive or unmanageable stress for an extended period.
Yes, even in our fast-paced busy world, you can be on the run and have your stress under control. Managing stress is not that difficult. Is it doable? I know it is. I live a very active, demanding life and enjoy it to the full. You can achieve a stress hardiness that will enable you to see the plus side of stress and grow and prosper from it rather than be trapped by it.
Many people think that to manage their stress more effectively they need to reduce there stress levels, change their job or escape from real life. While it is true that some people need to reduce their stress levels and for some their job is killing them, yet who can or would want to abandon family and friends for the sake of stress management? The good news is that you can thrive even in our fast-paced busy world. Practice these ABC,s and learn the stress skills that help you develop the stress hardiness you need. I have a FREE e-course entitled, 7 Days to Enjoying the Stress of Your Life, for more info click on the link below.