Stress is modern man's constant enemy. It strikes when least expected, but with proper self awareness and management techniques it can be controlled. In this course we deal with physical problems related to stress, how to achieve easy living, dealing with drugs, developing self esteem, relaxation, diet and more.
Is Your Life Balanced?
Work addicts, (or workaholics) are not necessarily successful and prosperous. We are all familiar with the stereotyped married man working 12hr days to support his family. What we are less conscious of is the single men and women, working massive hours either to fund expensive living or just to remain competitive in their field, and the mothers who work out of the home to make ends meet and then return home to raise their children as well. Stay at home mothers, often under-recognised in our society, is often also workaholics, not only raising their children, but doing so in a society that can be very judgemental of parenting choices. Childproofing, cleaning and sterilising, washing, cooking balanced meals etc and trying to do so perfectly is as stressful as working out of the home. For women having children, choosing to leave the workforce, change to part time or casual employment and relying more on their partner financially can be an enormous cause of stress. Going from a controlled office routine to the chaotic 24/7 job of caring for an infant or toddler can be overwhelming for many women.
Whatever the case, or the source of stress, “Easy Living” is a way for people to adjust and be better able to cope with every day life, while remaining happy and calm.
The first step to easy living is recognising you are stressed. There are both physical and psychological symptoms of stress.
Some more specific psychological symptoms include:
- Confusion or an inability to think clearly
- Changes in sleeping, eating or sexual habits
- Mood changes
- Increased use of alcohol or drugs.
Be on the lookout for these symptoms!
What Exactly Is Causing Your Stress?
By asking yourself the following questions you can often get an indication of stress related problems which might otherwise have been overlooked:
- Where are you going in life?
- How much or how little are you getting out of life?
- What things should you put first?
Do you live for your work?
Today there seem to be more and more workaholics, living to work instead of working to live.
Their entire lives are taken up with their jobs. Generally, this means they have little or no job satisfaction and spend their personal time consumed with worry over their job.
For many workers too much work results in poor concentration and poorer business decisions being made, so in fact by working harder they are getting poorer results than they would by working less and producing a higher standard of work. The pursuit of leisure activities is seen as a luxury, or an unnecessary waste of time as workers fight for promotions, salary increases and respect.
What are you getting out of life?
Are you generally happy? What things in your life give you a sense of fulfilment, pride or satisfaction? Do you know what you want, have you considered how to get it? Do you make time for hobbies and relaxing? Your life should never just be work, when you think about what you want to get out of life right now, almost no-one will answer more work. It is not wrong to want happiness and fulfilment, and to pursue activities that help you achieve this.
Are you achieving your goals?
Where are you heading? Is your career progressing well, or are you stuck in a dead end job? Do you even have clea
cannot pin-point the reason, they become run-down and lethargic, and often depressed. Commonly, looking at where you are in your life can either make you feel better, or highlight options for changing your situation and reducing your stress.
Do you make time for yourself?
Parents in particular are often concerned with providing constant supervision, entertainment, nutrition and care for their children, that they feel obliged to be available 24hrs a day. However, putting children, spouses, family and friends first in your life all the time is unhealthy. Think about how much time you actually spend on you (just you!) each week.
No matter what techniques you choose to use for stress management, the following general rules should always be kept in mind:
Do something you enjoy. Whether it be a hobby, sport or even a job; you need to be involved in satisfying pastimes on a regular basis.
Allocate time for yourself.
Don't over commit your time to other people.
Be committed to any Stress Reducing Activity you take on.
Relaxation should be the concern of everyone who wants to maintain health. Relaxation enables the body to rest from the stresses and pressures of everyday life. Muscles are given an opportunity to relax, and you should use your period of relaxation as a time to remove all worrying thoughts from your mind, since physical relaxation cannot be effectively achieved in the absence of mental relaxation.
Massage, exercise, meditation, Tai Chi, reading books, craft work, guided imagery and yoga are all methods of achieving relaxation.
During relaxation exercises the nervous system is also given the opportunity to relax.
A simple technique is as follows. All you need to do is sit in a comfortable chair or in a comfortable position on the floor. Next, say to yourself that you are going to relax completely. Begin with your scalp and work yourself, bit by bit, down to your toes. As you imagine each part of your body imagine it relaxing completely. Remain in the relaxed state for several minutes. You will be amazed at how relaxed you can make yourself feel. Having done this several times you will be able to distinguish between relaxed and tense states. Try incorporating it as part of a daily routine.
If you find it difficult to take your mind off stresses and tensions, try saying the words ‘relax’ or ‘sleep’, or even ‘relax and sleep’ over and over to prevent other thoughts from entering your mind.
Another method is to concentrate on the feelings and sensations that you have. Other methods might focus your attention on a particular body part such as the navel, or focusing on a significant object or person.
Other relaxation techniques involve practicing slow, deep breathing.