This past week I attended Staff Development Day for my job. It’s a wonderful time for us all to get together, to learn and to have a day focused on learning. One of the sessions was on Stress Management. I think, for the most part, I have learned to put things into perspective – to not let myself get stressed out. I did learn some things though…
What is Stress?
We were all asked. The answers returned, he said described the symptoms. Stress is how we react to information coming in – whether physically, cognitive or emotionally. We daily have information come to us that we have to make decisions about…what can we do? Some say that stress is our capacity to react to change…whether good or bad.
What Gets You?
On a daily basis, what can get to you? If’ you’ve had your day planned out and something happens that throws your plans off – how does that make you feel? Does it take a lot to get you stressed out? For some of us – whether it’s ‘close to home’ or personal, whether it involves deadlines or something completely out of our control…
What Do You Do?
When something unexpected comes your way and you can tell you’re beginning to feel stressed out – what do you do? Here’s what I’ve learned – mostly from doing things the wrong way first!
- STOP! Evaluate – do you have all the information? Know fully what you’re facing and just what you can do about it helps – sometimes when we think we have to react right away – we really don’t.
- LOOK from another perspective – If you’re looking at a situation purely from your own perspective – try to step out of the situation mentally – what’s really going on in this situation? Is this something YOU can solve? Is the other person involved reacting causing you to react? Are they going through something else entirely and this is the last straw…you get the onslaught?
- LISTEN – Did you get all of the information you needed to make an informed decision? Repeat the information to whomever brought it to you – or read thoroughly what you’ve just been given – Do you fully understand what the information is about and just what YOU can do about it?
- THINK – Can I solve this? Is this beyond my control?…If I can – do I need to act right now? Can I think about this and plan my strategy or action plan…
- BREATHE – One of the things a good friend writes back to me when I share with her what I think is an urgent concern…’just breathe’…then she says, wait – give it some time….usually, it’s not as urgent as we might think.
Stress comes to us every day in different fashions – some of it’s good – competition is good. Some is negative – that stress that causes us mental and physical problems – DON’T TAKE IT WITH YOU! Let it go – we can’t control every thing – we can’t control others…we can only control how we re-act to situations. Write the problem down – do you-can you have the answer? If not, do you know someone who can help? Do you have someone who can listen to the situation and give you a different perspective.
GET MOVING – take a walk or if you’re inclined a run. Physical movement does help us mentally – we can work things out while we’re moving – or just not think about it – it gets our bodies filled with nourishing air and our blood running – When you’re done, stretch take a deep breath then come at your situation from a refreshed perspective.
If someone is continually bringing problems your way – attempting to undermine you and/or your physical-mental-emotional being –DON’T GIVE THEM THAT POWER – it’s on them. I do, I have some people who continually try to affect my world – I’ve learned – through experience – they just don’t have that power – because I haven’t given it to them. I harbor no ill-will for them either.
PRAY – READ – You know I completely believe in God and in Jesus Christ – wisdom, peace, joy and strength beyond ourselves does come from God… who graciously and generously gives of himself.
Stressors will come – just how you manage them – how you allow them to influence your life is totally up to you.