What’s stressing you out — the economy … the election … the ….??? Our “Being Physical” advisor, Bruce, offers five stress-busting solutions to pull yourself together again …
STRESS MANAGEMENT— AGAIN !
Stress management is back on the front burner (as if it ever left), and it seems necessary to write a little more about it. Fortunately, physically or emotionally, financially or spiritually, things always turn around and get better. But, the bottom line is that stress is a regular day-to-day part of our lives, and this was true long before the current economic situation.
I read a book not so long ago where the author wrote that there is no escape from stress. Well, while there may be no escape, there are ways to alleviate stressful feelings. This is important because, depending upon the amount of stress you’re manifesting, your immune system is compromised … the more stress, the more prone you are to getting sick.
Here are a few short stress-busting solutions:
1. Text message as little as possible. It’s OK not to be busy for ten minutes. Next time you need to go out for a short amount of time, leave your electronic communication devices behind. Keep your thumb in your britches like some movie cowboy. Don’t worry about “the emergency” that may occur during your time at the grocery down the street. You’ll find it to be relieving and relaxing to go out and know that no one can reach you. This feels great! Try it. You’ll survive and feel better.
2.Exercise — any aerobic exercise — running, cycling, and the like will cut your stress levels by half in just 30 minutes. It’s too cold? No, its not. Wear warm clothes. A park ranger once told me there’s no such thing as bad weather — only the wrong gear. There is NO excuse for not exercising at least a half hour three times a week (unless you have a medical problem). Not enough time is not a good reason.
3. “Meditate” for ten minutes a day — call it whatever you want, quiet time, etc. Just be still and do not answer phones or talk to anyone for that period. Do not judge this time as good or bad, right or wrong. Just do it. You may find this to be very uncomfortable at first, but, soon, you’ll relax and begin to train yourself to be un-busy. This is training.
4. Watch as little TV as possible — especially the news, which focuses on the bad and uses eye-catching promotional messages like “Alert” … “Breaking News” … “Developing News” … “Happening Now” in big red letters. The more red on the screen the less you need to watch it. The more bad news you watch, the more stressed you will be. Read a book. Look at the ceiling for a half an hour. Play Scrabble with your wife, kids or friends. It will be far more interesting than Sean Hannity or Keith Olberman. This is difficult as we’re addicted to filling ourselves up with external stimuli. However, you can do it!!
5. Don’t worry about the results. Remember, you are in the actions business. Very little good can be facilitated by worrying about the results about pretty much anything. Spending too much time thinking about the results, e.g. the election and/or the economy, can only cause stress.
Doing any ONE of these five will decrease your stress levels tremendously. Try a little bit of all of them and see what happens.
Go for progress not perfection.