At some point in everyone’s life there is at least one something stressful… and if it is only one you are indeed the exception. Money, health, sex, news reports, children, family illness or worse death, incessant weather conditions, household maintenance, traffic accidents, career, and on-and-on. Stress producers seem to assail us at every opportunity which is ot to say that we have only negative things happening, there is also joy, satisfaction, feel good days, hugs and the feeling of accomplishment. It is a genuine crisis whenever something literally upsets the apple-cart, but it is how we cope and move on that makes us different.
Unhealthy coping mechanisms make some people turn food, alcohol, drugs or reckless behavior. The temporary fix we can achieve by getting high may be very effective in allowing us to take our minds off of what ails us and may even allow us the time to catch our breath and get a different perspective, one that is easier to live with — in the end though many of these unhealthy coping mechanisms leave us with added complications. The stress finds a way to repeat, even if slightly different and the more frayed our nerves are, the more we toss and turn rather than sleep, the more we eat until we feel bloated, the less we feel capable of dealing with the stress and the faster we succumb. Stress can cause body aches and illness, it can destroy relationships, it can distract us while driving, confuse us when we try to work and embarrass us when we can’t control our tears. Stress can raise our blood pressure making us more susceptible to heart attacks and strokes. Simply put, stress STINKS.
We can’t eliminate stress from our lives. How can we find ways to control the damage stress can cause? And how can we cope and move on relatively normally when it seems arrows are being shot at us from every angle?
Begin every day with a personal pep talk in the bathroom mirror telling yourself how capable you are, how good you look, how much you can accomplish and that you like yourself. If you find yourself getting angry or feeling like you want to cry, get in the habit of “stopping” by counting to ten or reciting a favorite jingle. Spend some “me-time” every day doing something that is pleasurable and healthy like taking a walk, putting music on and dancing in your living room, doing arts and crafts, singing in the shower, writing short stories, but do something for a few minutes every day that is just for you. Daily meditation will help calm your nerves, focus on important things and learn to ignore annoyances; sit in a quiet, comfortable corner and breathe slowly and deeply; close your eyes and imagine a peaceful setting (like water gently lapping at the sands of beach).
Focus on the positive things around you, think about the things you still have even after a loss, and try to see that even unexpected changes in your life (such as losing a job) can lead to better things. Eat healthy foods that your body can actually utilize, foods that are high in nutrients, proteins and have healthy levels of carbs and fats will help keep your body’s chemistry more even. Get enough rest, you will feel better able to face things when you feel refreshed. Pamper yourself a bit, even simple everyday grooming will help to lift your spirits. Daily exercise will activate healthy endomorphins in your body; endomorphins affect the central nervous system and help to ease the body’s perception of pain and fatigue. Don’t naturally assume that the worst will happen, while it may be a real possibility, there is always the chance that a medical test, for example, may uncover a condition that can be treated and cured — my mother used to say “Don’t borrow trouble.”
Remember, don’t take life too seriously…
no one ever gets out alive.
no one ever gets out alive.