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Phil Chave
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50 Stress Busting Ideas for Your Well-being, Greater Good and Improved Health - part four

A Comprehensive Guide to Stress Management



Manage the stress in your life, before it manages you!
The following activities will help you:
  • Alter, avoid or accept your stressors
  • Build your resources or strengths, and
  • Change your attitude or perception of the stressors

Getting Started

Before you look through this article, stop to think about what kinds of things might be causing stress for you. First, identify a stressor, like a family problem or a difficulty with a co-worker.

Then choose an activity (or two) that you think would help you deal with it. Apply yourself to doing that particular activity for a day, a week, or a month. You may want to remind yourself with notes on your mirror, refrigerator or car dashboard, or by wearing a piece of jewellery that reminds you of your commitment to practicing the activity in your daily life. Then, look back and note the difference in your stress level. Return to the list of activities whenever you like and repeat the process.

39. Use Time Efficiently

Ever find yourself saying, "Where did all the time go?" Try this strategy to maximize use of your time.

Name your time wasters. Don't lie to yourself. What are they? Procrastination? Going from one task to another? Watching TV out of habit, not out of interest?

Start with the biggies. Divide all your tasks into three categories. A's are essential to your life goals. B's are important but not essential. C's are trivia. Forget about them. Do A's first, and at the time of day when you are most alert and creative. Blast away at your top priorities and let others fall by the wayside. Stop running late. Arrive at appointments five minutes early. Check yourself. Keep a log for one week detailing your time use.

40. Take Mental Vacations

Sometimes we feel so worn out or frustrated that we reach the "I can't cope" level. That's a good time for a mental vacation. Find a place where you can be alone. Lie down, close your eyes, and imagine you are lying on a beautiful beach. Imagine the sun on your face. Listen to the sounds of birds and waves. Feel the warm sand. Breathe deeply and slowly. Enjoy relaxing for several minutes. Then imagine yourself jogging, swimming, shopping, or anything you would enjoy doing on your vacation. When you are feeling better, open your eyes. Think of what needs to be done immediately and what can wait until later. Take it one small step at a time!

41. Don't Forget the Funnies!

How about a daily habit of funnies? Read comic strips, poems, newspaper columns, stories, videos and books that tickle your funny bone. Develop a collection of favorites.

Tell jokes and humorous stories to others at mealtime, while driving in the car or at any other time!

42. Do Some Personal Planning

Do you want to live by your decisions, and not your conditions? Master the art of setting goals. You can write your diary in advance!

Begin by deciding what you really want out of life. What can you do in the next five years in pursuit of your life goals? In the next year? Next month? This week? Be as specific as possible. Check your plan every three months to make sure you're on track, or to make adjustments.

Make a daily plan. Label the most important tasks A, the next tasks B, C, and so on. Estimate the amount of time for each task. Begin with the first task and work down the list. Try to spend some time, even five minutes, working on an "A" priority every day.

43. Do Some Emotional Gardening

Replace stressful thoughts with pleasant ones. Think of it as emotional gardening. You pull the ugly weeds out of your garden, and you cultivate the good plants. Instead of dwelling on a hurt or injustice, think about someone you like and perhaps about some way you can help that person. Don't blame others or become preoccupied with blaming. Remember, a beautiful garden is very satisfying. A garden of weeds can be very discouraging.

44. Stand Your Ground

We are confronted with conflict situations daily. But we can't spend our energy confronting every situation. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
  • Is there really a threat here?
  • Is it really worth a fight?
  • If I fight, will it really make a difference?
If the answer to all three questions is yes, set an appointment for the discussion. State the issue clearly. Avoid "always" and "never." Don't hit below the belt, but stand up for yourself. Answer back only after you've paraphrased what you've heard. Let the fight end when it's over. Don't insist on having the last word. If the issue isn't fully resolved, set another appointment for a later time.

45. Think Before You Eat

Enjoy Life Again and Enjoy a Healthy Relationship Some of us use food in unhealthy ways when we are under stress. Ask yourself how you view food. Do you view eating as a way to alleviate stress? Do you eat because you are bored? If your answer is yes, try to find more positive ways to fill your empty hours. Try reading, exercise, visiting friends, taking kids on an outing, or a hobby.

46. Be A Kid!

Being an adult is hard work, especially if we rarely let our hair down. Bring some childlike activities into your own life-style. Take a nap. Have a regular cookies and milk break. Read children's books. Kids need playtime... so do adults. Take it!

Spend time with children. Talk to them. Play with them. Read together. If you can, spend some time volunteering at school with the younger grades. Notice how much they enjoy life and don't take it too seriously. Find out what you can from a child.

47. Learn to Adapt

Being flexible and adaptable is important in stress management. You can expand your flexibility by deliberately planning new experiences into your schedule. There are many ways to do this. On occasion, reverse or exchange responsibilities with a family member or co-worker. Once a month, participate in a new recreational activity. Invite a person you don't know well to join you for a meal or some activity. Change a routine. Take a different route to work.

48. Enjoy Natural Beauties

The beauties of Nature offer many opportunities for letting go of stress. There is something soothing and reassuring about the natural environment. Enjoy a sunset, or the stars on a clear night. Hike to a favorite peaceful place and listen to the sounds of nature.

49. What Works for You?

Some of the best stress-busting exercises will be those you create on your own. You may be surprised how effective it can be to write your own ideas on blank cards, and practice your own advice in the way you practice the other ideas listed here. Have fun!

50. Analyze Your Stress

Make a list of your current stressors. Add two columns to the right of the stressor labeled "IMP" for Important and "CON" for Control.

For each stressor, ask yourself, "Is this really important?" Put a V, S, or N in the column labeled IMP, showing if the stressor is Very, Somewhat or Not Important. Next ask yourself, "Can I do anything about it?" In the column labeled CON, place a Y for "Yes", N for "NO", or an S for "Some Control."

Draw a large square on a sheet of paper and divide it into four square boxes. Label the top two boxes 1 and 2 (left to right), and the bottom two 3 and 4. In boxes 1 and 2, put the unimportant stressors that you can't and can control; in boxes 3 and 4, place the important stressors you can't and can control, respectively. Look over your grid and summarize your insights.
.......................................

Many of the Stress Busting ideas originated in the following publications:
  • Replacing Stress With Peace, by Dr. Wallace Goddard
  • Rethinking Family Stress, by Dr. Wesley Burr
  • The Relaxation Response, by Dr. Herbert Benson
  • A Guide to Managing Stress, by Krames Communications
  • Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, by Dr. Stephen Covey
  • Some activities were reprinted with permission from Kicking Your Stress Habits, 1981, 1989. Donald A. Tubesing, Ph.D. Published by Whole Person Press
My sincere thanks to Stephen F. Duncan, Ph.D., Human Development Specialist, and to the MSU Extension Service,
for allowing me to recreate this article. Their copyright is acknowledged and retained.


Go to     Part 1     Part 2     Part 3     Part 4     of the Stress Busting Ideas Article.


My final message to you is this: If you are suffering from stress, or the effects of stress, try some of the ideas above. Stress has been linked to such things as depression, anxiety, panic attacks, low self esteem, social anxiety,chronic constipation or IBS, heart disease, lowered immune system, rheumatoid arthritis, headaches, and now there are even suggestions that cancer may be linked to stress. Stress is not something to carry around for long periods, it produces more and more ill-health and early treatment is recommended. If you live near The Haven Healing Centre, Blagdon, I'd be delighted to see you. Don't wait! The sooner we start treatments, the sooner you are likely to see improvement in your condition.
Put an end to stress related illness. My approach involves talking, healing and treatments combined to reflect your own preferences. Please call Phil Chave on 01761 462722 to make your appointment or to talk about a treatment plan structured around your needs.

Don't wait. Make your appointment today. You'll be glad you did!



Relaxation at the Beach, a CD by Philip Chave
Relaxation at the Beach - Total stress reduction in a flash.
Do you regularly suffer from stress? Few of us get away with it for long. We all need a certain amount of stress, but the constant onslaught that we face from the work environment and other sources can wear us down over time.

Without a suitable antidote we can become stressed into illness, relationship breakup, unemployment, and alienated from friends and family. Reducing the stress in our lives should now be one of our MAIN PRIORITIES.

If you want to know how easy it is, visit our Relaxation at the Beach page for more details. A CD by Phil Chave, international therapist, The Haven Healing Centre.
Available worldwide as an audio CD or by download as an MP3.



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Copyright  ©  Philip Chave 2003-www.distanthealer.co.uk -- www.thehavenhealingcentre.co.uk  All rights reserved.
DISCLAIMER: This information is not presented by a medical practitioner and is for educational and informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read.

The Haven Healing Centre is located at: The Haven, Street End Lane, Blagdon, Bristol, BS40 7TW