How to deal with stress before it turns into distress.

relationship5Excuse my not posting a blog in awhile but with a recent move , an additional grandchild and researching a possible new project, time just flew by.  However though the changes have been positive, they have not been without accompanying stress.

Stress certainly gets a bad rap. People generally view stress as something negative but in reality stress is the spice of life.  Good things like a marriage, birth of a child, a new job, though positive, can be highly stressful.  Add them to other demands and they can quickly turn into distress.

Everyday stressors can add up and wear people down.  The reasons vary.  It could be the single parent trying to juggle raising children while holding down a job and taking care of her dwelling.  It could be the couple struggling to find alone and together time, while trying to balance this with all the other demands facing them.  It could be the senior caring for a sickly partner.

When stress crosses the threshold over into distress,it results in over 70% of the underlying participants that bring people to visit their doctors. The literature is full of examples of ways that society impinges on our stress levels. This being the case, implementing ways to lower stress levels before they become distressful is a necessity rather than a luxury.  People need to resist the temptation to say.  ” I have too much to do.  Therefore, I have no time to give to myself.”  However, studies reveal that appropriately taking time out for yourself makes you more effective, not less.

Here are some things you can do to bring more balance into your life.

  1. Develop a support system by setting aside a routine get together with friends for coffee, lunch or dinner.
  2. Join a formal group that perks your interest. such as meditation, yoga or tai chi classes.
  3.  Take mini breaks during the course of the day where you can walk away from what you are doing and practice a mindfulness or meditation.
  4. Step out of the circle that  that ends up nowhere  and do something different like joining with people who are involved in activity such as a photography, biking, hiking, walking, painting or theatre.
  5. Volunteer for a worthy cause.
  6. Learn to say “No” and not feel guilty. You don’t have to do it all. The world will continue as it always has if you let go a little.
  7. Develop a daily routine that takes into account “me too” time.
  8. Life style changes can work wonders if you are committed to changing worn out behaviors that no longer work.
  9. Eat a wholesome breakfast daily
  10. Attend regularly a church or synagogue that can inspire you and not bore you.

These are but a few stress relieving techniques that can help.  If you think of more, send them to me and I will post them.

For more information on this topic or others, write to me, Ray Shocki PhD, LCSW, LMFT at lifesourcecenter