Is stress beating you down or are you dealing with stress?

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Answered by: miguel, An Expert in the Manage your Stress Category
Dealing with stress is simply realizing nothing has changed from our grandparents day accept that now we have a word for it. During the Great Depression few people had the luxury of ruminating about how happy they were; back then they called it "life". Ironically continuous stress is deemed more destructive than the once-in-a-life-time-ride-on-the-Titanic. So how to deal with the wolf at the door or the elephant in the room?

Recognizing this can be the beginning of a more productive and better you. Instead of running from your problem run toward your solution.

Don't misinterpret anxiety as hopelessness. That burning sensation in your belly is the fire you need to solve your problem. When a boxer is knocked down the feeling of the floor racing to meet him is the wake up call that urgent action needs to be done.

The key is to focus your nervous energy into a positive use. If you feel you want to shout or run then do just that . Go jogging or take a long walk. Sing or shout in the shower or rearrange the bedroom furniture to vent your feelings. But remember if you won the lottery or got the best job (or date) in your life you'd probably be just as anxious and excited but that wouldn't be a problem right? Right!

Beating stress requires keeping things in proper perspective. Write a list of the problems you have and be specific. Brainstorm any crazy idea that might solve those problems. Writing down the problems gives you a perspective on them. As terrible as they might be, on paper your problems will look manageable. Ask yourself, "What is different about this moment than an hour ago? I wasn't so frightened then so what's the problem now?"

Sometimes dealing with stress requires us to change our viewpoint of the problems. Taking a few deep breaths and focusing on a flower in the front yard takes us out of the crisis moment. Oftentimes it's not the problem but our attitude toward it that has changed. Are the stresses at work because we personally are unable to deal with our job or are we under staffed and over worked? Are we doing our best or just sliding by and therefore less productive than we could be? Sometimes we have to look in the mirror.

Many of the stressful conditions we face can be foreseen and planned for. Taking actions to own our actions, even our mistakes in judgement, allow us to become "actors" and not victims nor "re-actors". By exercising everyday we have an outlet for our energy and remember good health is what all those senior citizens brag about. By planning our future purchases we'll have less surprises at the end of the month. Dealing with stress can start with looking at a calendar and projecting where we will be in 30 to 60 days and if need be one year from now. The future is unavoidable; we just have to prepare for it.

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