Recent studies indicate that all of us experience some degree of difficulty and worry as a result of interpersonal or work-related stress and tension. Why is it that some individuals seem unaffected or even motivated by pressure-filled situations while others feel overwhelmed, frustrated, or depressed? The difference lies in how we handle the effects of stress. The degree to which you experience stress or react to it is determined by the kinds of stressors you experience and your degree of physical, mental, and social resiliency. The kinds of stress that you experience at work and at home fall into two categories. These include uncontrollable and controllable events.
These include such things as the loss of a job, sickness, the death of a loved one, a natural calamity such as a violent earthquake, or other serious events with deep emotional consequences. When something is uncontrollable, it just happens. You can combat this by doing the following:
These include situations where you can impact the positive outcome of the event. You encounter most of the stress that you experience in these situations.
Time Stressors. These generally result from having too much to do in too little time.
Encounter Stressors. Encounter stressors generally are a result of strained interpersonal interactions, such as work conflict, low levels of trust, and low flow of communication.
Situation Stressors. These arise from the environment a person exists in, such as working in unfavorable conditions, working long hours, getting married, starting a new job, having a baby, experiencing rapid changes in life events, etc.
Anticipatory Stressors. Anticipatory stressors include potentially disagreeable events that threaten to occur or unpleasant things that have not yet happened but might happen.
By increasing your physical, mental, and social resiliency, you will be more equipped to handle, and even eliminate, the stress that comes your way.
Eliminate time stressors through better time management.
Develop a positive problem-solving approach to deal with encounter stressors.
Overcome situational stressors by developing self-confidence.
This will require you to become more effective in establishing relationships with others.
Overcome anticipatory stressors.
By prioritizing, planning, and preparing, you can reduce anticipatory stressors.
Take care of your body.
Balance your lifestyle.
Invest in your interpersonal relationships.
This consists of relaxing the different muscle groups in the body one by one. The technique involves tightening up a single muscle group (hands, legs, etc.) for five or ten seconds and then completely relaxing it.
Imagery involves visualizing an event or situation that is pleasant, relaxing, and peaceful to relieve anxiety or pressure.
This technique involves optimistically redefining a situation as manageable. Some examples include:
Deep breathing consists of taking several successive, slow, deep breaths, holding them for five seconds, and exhaling completely. The focus is on the breathing so the mind can be cleared and the muscles can relax.
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Implementing these strategies will significantly reduce the number of stressful situations you encounter and will help you successfully handle those that remain.