I had a patient ask me if there was something they ‘could take for their stress’. It is an all-too-common question in this day and age. Most homes have difficulty, or rather challenges with both parents working, or growing children, health or financial concerns and otherwise. I believe stress is in all of us. It is the human condition.
I told him that the stress is there as long as you are alive; it means you’re getting things, or want to get things done and done right. I furthered by saying that it is how we manage the stress that is important. We need to adapt and overcome.
No, there is not a pill or a supplement one can take to alleviate the daily concerns we all tend with. These are fallacies, the stress is still there. You can paint yourself purple; the stress will still be there.
Most importantly, I feel that people need to understand the sources of their stressors. Is it relationships, occupations, family, finances, etc? Then, how do you deal with them? Some are healthy and some are not. Some people drink to manage their stress, some overeat. These, in the long run will only add to your stress if these are your primary coping mechanisms. All things in moderation. Healthier ways to manage stress include meditation, yoga, Tai Chi, a quiet walk or an exercise that you enjoy.
I find that the major source of stress is that few of us are actually allowing time for ourselves. It is difficult to do so. We are mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, workers or business owners. Some have the mindset that if they take time for themselves, then they are taking time away from those other equally important things.
The operative word here is ‘equally’. You should allow yourself the same amount of time as you do the others matters that you find important. How often do you come home from work, feeling that everyone else owns your time; the boss and co-workers, the children, the household, etc? You flop on the couch and you mumble a few words to your family because you are truly exhausted and in desperate need of some down-time. You know full well as you go to bed that you will be living the same agenda tomorrow. That is stressful.
Well, here is a humble ladder that is being given to you so that you can get out of the hole you have dug. First, take a piece of paper and write down the top three stresses in your life. Limit it to only three…you already have enough stress. Under each item write three things you will do this week to not reduce, but eliminate that stress. The mind and body do much better when they are working towards something. Once you apply yourself to solving these stresses, boom, the stress will be gone because you have gained control.
Stress dates back to our prehistoric days, it is all rooted around being out of control of a situation or feeling like you have no impact on it. Gain control, because believe me when I say that stress is a killer. It is well noted the physiological ramifications of marinating in unresolved, stressful states. Chronic stress becomes disease and that will only lead to more stress. Use the ladder and gain control; it is as simple as you make it. Drama queens need not apply.