Stress Reduction

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Stress Reduction

Reality is the leading cause of stress amongst
those in touch with it.
                       Jane Wagner
One way of managing all the stress in our life is to reduce the number of stressors that adversely impact our health.  Stressors have a tendency to accumulate.  So if we can find ways to reduce this cumulative assault on our health it will be a big step in the right direction.  So the first step is to recognize all the various stressors in our life.  Then we might be able to discovery some of which we can eliminate or reduce.

An Exercise

List the things you find stressful in your life.
Try to be specific. Just listing “my husband” may not be as helpful as “when my husband leaves his clothes laying around the house.”  That way during the next exercise where we try to eliminate unnecessary stressors we won’t necessarily have to get rid of your husband but rather ask him to stop tossing his clothes around haphazardly.  Don’t forget children’s behaviors that drive you nuts, workplace inequities and circumstances which are frustrating, dealing with our technological world of cell phones, automated answering systems, faxes, computers, pagers, PDA’s, packed schedules, rush hour commutes, relationship conflicts with specific people, not getting enough sleep or exercise.

Now from that list choose as many stressors as you can that you think you can eliminate or drastically reduce.
As a reminder there are some stressors which we want you to automatically include on your list if they apply: tobacco, caffeine,  more than one glass of alcohol per day, recreation drug use, unnecessary medications excessive noise pollution, too much TV.  Polluting our bodies and mind with harmful chemicals, excess sound, and mind numbing input are all forms of “hidden” stress which we often do not realize is very damaging.

For the next month work on reducing the number of stressors in your life.
The more the better.  Work on some easy ones to give yourself the sense of success but also work on some of the more difficult ones which may make a bigger difference.  It may take recruiting your friends and family’s assistance.  Such as asking your kid’s to stop some of their annoying behavior.  It may take a heart-felt discussion with a co-worker or a friend to clear some misunderstanding between you.

At the end of a month make a new list of stressors you can reduce.  It may have some new items which you discovered in the last 30 days.  It may contain some stressors you unsuccessfully tried to eliminate in the first thirty days but wish to give a second try.  This then can become an ongoing, periodic review of your life stressors and decisive action to rid yourself of as much harmful stress as you can.

Be sure to note the positive impact this stress reduction has on your sense of well-being.  It will act as a motivating force fore more positive change.

Life is a precious commodity.  We are alive on this wondrous planet for only a few short decades.  It often seems like a crime to have so much of our precious time and life energy drained away by damaging levels of stress.

We are always getting ready to live but never living.
                                     Ralph Waldo Emerson