One of the problems that compounds stress is that we often respond to it in rigid, automatic, habitual ways that may not serve our best interests; here we look at possibilities for empowering us when we come under stress - by increasing our awareness of the range of response options that are available to us, in order to choose more effective actions to cope.
Strategies to Deal with Constant Stress, Demands, Pressure
...Survive and Thrive!
|Do nothing - sit it out!||"Nothing stays bad forever!"||Requires no effort from us
acceptance of the situation reduces stress feelings
|Misery, sickness, even death may occur before good times roll again
unrelieved stress damages health, welfare & relationships
|React aggressively!||"If people/the world give me hassle - I will give the same back!...
...otherwise they will just keep giving me a bad time (or not meeting my needs)!"
|Reduces stress feelings by avoiding helplessness
people may be 'woken up' to our needs
(kickback effects may increase stress)
raised blood pressure
|Escape stress - take a break!||"Stress is healthy but 'stress exhaustion' is not!"||Short pleasant breaks from suffering 're-charge our batteries' to cope e.g. balanced life, taking a walk, etc||Does not change the stress situation|
|Control (reduce) it!||"I am in charge of my life!"||Part of our stress feelings come from how we react to what is (or is not) happening. Responding skilfully to stress e.g. assertively can:
a) improve our reactions to events
b) reduce demands on us
c) increase our capacity to cope
|An over-controlling approach to life & relationships can be a source of stress.
Sometimes we need to be more "easy going" i.e. "go with the flow" and be more tolerant & less demanding
|Express our stress
- let the emotions flow!
|Stress is a highly emotional experience. When we "bottle-up" our stress we become increasingly dysfunctional - stress increases & health, welfare & relationships suffer. Our anger, depression, fear, frustration & rage need to "flow" out of us.
"Flowing out" can take the form of writing, talking, art, poetry, vigorous physical activity etc.
|Mind & body become clearer and more energised. Situations & opportunities are perceived more clearly, wiser choices & decisions result.||Risk of becoming addicted to the flow of feelings, e.g. the "power" or the "easy option" of blaming others - rather than taking personal responsibility for sensibly tackling the sources of our stress.|
Learn & Grow!!
|The universe & human beings change constantly - we need to move forwards with this fundamental life process or we will become increasingly out of harmony with the world around us.||If stress is seen as the signal that we are out of harmony - the door opens to positive and adaptive responses to the feelings of stress.
Stress is an energy that we can harness for the evolution of our personal destiny or life story.
|Changing ourselves (e.g. our attitudes or behaviour) is hard.
In the short-term it may increase our stress level.
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VIDEOS of Stress Management Strategies: Stillness Drumming Beautiful Music Meditation
www.stress-counselling.co.uk © Copyright 2011 - Dr. M. J. Meredith