The potential for stressful situations is everywhere. At work, while driving, at home, undesired mail, poor health, and even on vacation! The question is, however, can we control what happens around us?
Generally the answer to this question is, well not really or not always, so what can we do?
We can learn to change our response to external factors. While it's true that a stress response does serve a purpose to our survival (fight or flight), it can also be like a stuck accelerator pedal. It seems like we are being pushed further and further beyond our capabilities and are hoping to not hit a brick wall.
Sometimes people think stress is just part of life. Have you ever thought or said something similar to the following?
- I always have tons of things to do and never enough time. I'll have time to relax one day.
- My life is just crazy right now - my job, my family…
- He/she really stresses me out! It's their fault that things are like this!
As long as you think that being stressed is normal, and that it is beyond your control or someone else's fault, you will never recover from the effects of stress. What are some of these effects?
- Feeling tired all the time
- Not sleeping well
- Having difficulty concentrating
- Forgetting things that you know you should remember
- Chronic headaches
- Tension in your neck, shoulders, or back
Additionally, we may develop coping mechanisms to stress that really don't make our lives that much better, such as:
- Taking medication to relax or sleep
- Drinking too much to unwind
- Eating too much or skipping too many meals because we can't eat
- Spending hours on the Internet or in front of the TV
- Making sure that our mind is constantly occupied to avoid facing our real problems
- Taking it out on others (lashing out in anger, physical/emotional abuse)
- Cutting ourselves off from friends, family, or activities that we enjoy
The relaxation classes and stress management seminars are designed to put you back in the driver's seat will full control over the accelerator AND brake pedals.