ComPortOne Health Page stress Stress is a serious problem. In America many people are living with constant low-grade anger which adds significantly to their stress level. Unfortunately, this condition leaves them just an incident away from an episode of rage, stroke, anxiety attack, heart attack or other problems.

Yet, no one is stress-free? It's even hard to find anyone with just minimal stress. Most people deal with a lot of stresses and pressures on them. ...but is all this stress necessary? Is it just a sign of the times?

What's so bad about stress anyway? Doesn't it breakup the monotony of a dull life? Perhaps. After all even good things, like the birth of a child, taking a new jog, or moving to a different house can cause stress. Experts agree that it isn't the occassional stress but the continued pressures that cause us problems. Take a look at the partial list below of some of the health and emotional problems that are exacerbated by stress.

  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Migraine or headaches
  • Sleeping Disorders
  • Depression
  • Road Rage
  • Violence - in Schools, the Workplace, in the Home.
  • Anger and Emotional Outbursts
  • Low Self-esteem
  • Poor Eating Habits
  • Poor Health
  • Disease
  • Premature Aging
  • Relationship Problems
  • and on and on....

It's apparent that if we don't figure out how to control stress, our lives will be adversely affected. Even when we manage to have moments of contentment, they don't last long enough to counteract the bad effects of stress.

So, what's a person to do? Good question.

We need to achieve emotional balance. We need practical tools to manage frustration, anger, worry, anxiety, and other detrimental emotions. We need to practice inner peace and harmony.

Remember the Serenity Prayer?
Lord grant me the patience to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.

Often we get upset over things that we have no control over - and perhaps that is part of the problem. We have come to realize that we haven't got control over everything. In fact, we may have very little control over anything. Things happen around us and it is said: It is not what happens to you but how you handle it that shows what kind of person you are. How true.

We cannot control many illnesses or accidents - sometimes they just happen. Bad things do happen to good people. Everything is more intense at the moment it is happening and with time everything becomes easier as you see the bigger picture. So we must look at things from a more eternal perspective.

First, stress isn't caused by not caring - it's caused by caring too much. And caring in unhealthy ways - as if we have the power to fix the situation.

Try some of the following ideas to lower your stress:

  • Lighten your load. Share chores with family members. You are only one person - stop trying to do the work of many. It's okay to say no once in a while.
  • Share your feelings with a friend or family member. Pick someone who is a good listener not someone who will try to fix the problem. (Remember to be a listener, too.)
  • Take time for yourself. This is a hard one especially for women who try to take care of everyone else first and often have little time left. Schedule your peronsal time if you must. It doesn't have to be a great amount of time - just enough to say to yourself - "I matter."
  • Step back and put things into perspective. Take the time to think everything through as if you were a bystander and the situation was happening to someone else.
  • Write your concerns down. It can lighten the load. If you have to remember things and you write them down on paper - you can forget about them and concentrate on other things.
  • Spend time in the park, library, lakeside, etc. If you love nature spend time with it. If you love to read - go to the library. Feed your creative side. You may be feeling stress because your talents are starving to be used.
  • Listen to good music. It must be uplifting and make you feel better. Don't listen to depressing music. - And you will know what kind of music brings you down.
  • Keep a sense of humor. This one is essential to maintaining a good emotional balance. Read jokes and comics. Life is far too short to always be so serious.
  • Develop an internal trust that everything will be okay. Think "It may not happen right away but eventually everything will work out."
  • Live one day at a time Sometimes life is very tough with all its demands and there is little you can do at the moment. However, everyone can live one day at a time.
  • Remember that God is there for you. "Knowing God doesn't help you around problems - but it does help you through them."

Stress - it's here! It's inevitable! True, but we can do something about it.

Connie Eccles