10 Good Stressbusters
Dear Dr. LeCrone:
A few years ago, I attended a presentation you made titled “10 Good Stress Busters” that was on a card that you gave to me. I am under a lot of stress now and need a refresher from you.
— A Stressed-Out Reader
Dear Stressed Out:
Here is an expansion of the information on the card.
* Make balance a cornerstone in your daily life. All work and no play can make Jane or Jack a dull, stressed-out person. Family time and leisure activities can help offset the stress of a very busy work life.
* Set healthy priorities. For example, consistently letting your work, hobbies and leisure time assume greater importance than spouse and family provides fertile ground for unhealthy situations that can develop in marriages and families.
* Keep your need for control and perfection in a healthy perspective. Control freaks and perfectionists often experience a lot of stress in their lives. My personal and professional experience has demonstrated to me that demanding an “A-plus” from yourself in everything that you do often catches up with you sooner or later, physically and/or mentally. Also, learning to let go of things that you can’t change is essential to good mental health. As the lines from a famous song by Kenny Rogers goes, “You’ve got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, know when to walk away, and know when to run.”
* Practice healthy nutrition, good sleep habits and exercise regularly. Dealing with stress is difficult without these basic health needs.
* Make spiritual support a key element of your daily existence. Living with faith and a belief in a higher power helps, especially when life seems insurmountable.
* Use relaxation techniques to help keep body and mind in balance. Yoga, meditation, deep breathing and muscle tension reduction are some examples of relaxation exercises.
* Stay socially connected to optimistic, hope-filled people. These individuals perceive a glass as half-full rather than half-empty. Happiness has been scientifically proved to be contagious. Your happiness can spread to those around you including your colleagues at work, your friends and your family.
* Keep life simple. Information overload and excessive multitasking are two examples of complexity leading to stress.
* Find a job that you like. Unhappy vocational endeavors can make life dreadful.
* Learn to deal with disappointment. Be resilient and practice learning from less-than-satisfactory experiences.
Harold H. LeCrone, Jr., Ph.D. Copyright © 2009