14 January 2012
SOS – Success Over Stress
Stress, a common issue in today’s life, is caused by two things – external events that enter our lives and our internal reaction to those events.
Since the sources of stress are internal (from within) and external (outside powers like physical or emotional events), we must change the way we react as well as to control the outside forces that start the stress cycle. If we cannot deal with these two options, we may need a 3rd strategy – seeking the help of others.
We have outlined three SOS plans that describe various coping skills that you can apply in your life.
SOS Strategy #1
Start on (the) situation
Most people link stress with major life changes, such as divorce or layoff, job demands, frustration, conflicts, worries and hassles that touch them every day.
One way to manage these types of stress is to meet them head-on and to find ways to change the cause.
Here are examples of useful skills that work on outside stress. Think of ways you can use each of them.
Set limits. Rate your tasks from highest to lowest. Drop some or make other activities easier if possible. Try to plan what is important, say no to unfair demands and pick your battles wisely.
Take charge. Accept responsibility for your actions by ‘clearing the air’, by getting more facts, looking at options, learning to make your own decisions and being confident.
Lesson change by staying put and sticking to a schedule. Sometimes it is helpful just to go with the flow for awhile.
SOS Strategy #2
Start on self
Stress never happens without our help. How we deal with stress, in the end, controls the level of stress we suffer. More often than not, we have more control over ourselves and how we react than we do over the situation that causes the stress.
The following tips are useful for SOS Strategy #2
Take care of yourself by getting plenty of rest and taking it easy. Try deep breathing, relaxing; creating a daily routine; finding quiet time; and watching your health.
Getting away from it all. Try something new, like getting away. Find a new spot to think, work, play, live. Build outside interests and give yourself well-deserved breaks. Exercise regularly.
Strengthen your fight. Find cures to stress. Learn to put up with doubt. Identify the things you want and like and let others know and take care of those desires. Change your behaviour and get rid of negative thoughts.
Get your thoughts in order. Expect change. Develop your skills and abilities. Resolve any differences. Make your values clear. Focus on what really counts.
SOS Strategy #3
Search out support
Even if you have already tried to change, tried to take care of yourself and go it alone, there’s still more you can do. Our lives are full of support (friends, experts, rituals, connections) that can help during times of stress. But we need to seek out help and make use of what they have to offer. Here’s a list of things that may help deal with stress.
Make the most of your surroundings. Reach out and use anything around you that can help. Let your ‘space’ protect and comfort you. Search out beauty. Enjoy nature.
What sort of things around you have you ignored? How can your surroundings help with your stress?
Share your burden. Lean on someone you can trust. Ask for help. Accept the comfort and encouragement of friends. Find a support group.
Ask the experts. Connect with professionals. Seek help and advice from trained people in your community or work.
Don’t wait for help. Create a support system if it doesn’t exist. Join in. Learn from them. Support someone else. Make connections.
These three SOS strategies, no matter how well they are planned, will not help unless we are ready to get going! It is important that we use these three ways to deal with stress by making a plan and acting.
Think about each coping skill and the three major SOS plans. Which SOS plan will work for you?
What should or will you do first?
What’s your next step in coping?
What must you do to improve the way you handle stress?
Tubesing, Nancy and Donald. Structured Exercises in Stress Management; A Handbook for Trainers, Educators and Group Leaders. Whole Person Associates.
** even through our journey, stress enters our lives and effects all avenues of our life. How we react is crucial; finding healthful solutions that work for each of is equally important. This brief memo was provided to me via a Womans Support Group, this memo is not for women only though. A worthy lesson to be shared with all of you whom I consider an extension of my family.