Let’s Stress This Stress Test!

Our Wellness column last Wednesday shared 4 essential factors in the quest for quality health. They included nutrition, lifestyle, sleep and stress. While addressing the challenges of the first three areas is rather self-evident, stress management often isn’t as intuitive. This week we’d like to share some coping strategies that can help you in keeping stress under control. If you can master these four areas, you’ll place yourself in great position to pass your own personal “stress test” with flying colors!

Perspective — The phrase “mountains out of mole hills” comes to mind here. When faced with stressful circumstances, consider other times in your life when you’ve overcome far greater challenges. Take a moment to think about things you are thankful for. Reflect on others around you facing far more difficult hurdles. If you are deliberate about placing your current “crisis” in the right context, you’re likely to find it more manageable.

Management — There will be occasions when pressure is an unavoidable fact of life. In those circumstances, give yourself permission to feel stressed, but try not to let it overwhelm you. It’s okay, in fact perfectly natural, to have anxiety at times. Do your best to channel it into a positive approach. Try to find one or two parts of your challenge that you can overcome. Experience one or two small victories and each successive step is easier to take.

Healthy Essentials — Last week we noted the importance of a balanced diet, an active lifestyle and adequate sleep. If you’re in a stressful patch, don’t neglect yourself or healthy lifestyle essentials. When you’re feeling good physically, it becomes much easier to feel good emotionally, and to rise above frustrations of the day.

Support — Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help, or support. If you’re in a pressure-filled workplace, there’s a good chance co-workers are in the same boat. Work together to rise above the challenges and help each other whenever possible. If you’re facing some family challenges or personal issues, you also certainly know friends or family members who can offer their support, a sympathetic ear, or a fresh perspective from time-to-time. If stress becomes to much to bear, seek professional help.

Some occasional dashes of stress can help you overcome challenges and achieve notable accomplishments. But when stress feels paralyzing, remember these techniques to try to help overcome it.

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