Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wellness Wednesday: {Stress Management Part 3}

Welcome back to Wellness Wednesday! It might be good to take a moment to refresh your memory about the Wheel of Wellness, and my wellness page includes every past "Wellness Wednesday" post! Remember that wellness isn't the absence of the negative, but the presence of the positive in our lives.
Remember that I'm using the Wheel of Wellness to help visualize health in life:

This will be my last post on the subtask of stress management. You can check out part 1 and part 2 here.
Hopefully you are starting to realize that dealing with stress is crucial to your health, and that while it is definitely difficult to deal with at times, it is worth the time and effort.

Here are a few tips for starting to come up with a plan for stress management in your life:

  • Learn to say no and limit yourself: It's easy to overcommit ourselves. It makes us feel important, it helps us avoid having to deal with "real life problems", or it allows us to continue in our people pleasing. Learning to set boundaries and say no will help limit the number of controllable stressors in your life. We need to learn to say no appropriately, and there are limits to what you can give. You may need to say no to things that are good in life in order to not over spend yourself.  (to learn more about boundaries, click here and scroll down to the "boundaries" heading).
  • Establish a regular practice of deep breathing: Deep Breathing will help control your heart rate, blood pressure, and allow your focus and concentration to increase: all necessary things in controlling our stress! I like to set an alarm for a few times during the day to practice. When you notice yourself starting to get stressed, immediately start deep breathing. 
  • Decrease your unhealthy coping skills, and implement healthy coping skills: Check out this post I wrote on healthy coping. Our unhealthy coping skills, while they seem to work initially, actually create more stress in the long run. Practice and implement healthy coping skills to help effectively decrease your stress. 
  • Don't Use Words Too Big For the Subject: In this post I did on using appropriate language, I talked about the possible detrimental ramifications on using words that are too big for the subject at hand. Watch how you talk to yourself when you're stressed. If you're using words like "horrible", "terrible", "completely overwhelming", "unbearable" or other similar words, you're likely to not only increase your feelings of stress dramatically, but you are less likely to function well in the middle of the situation. Use words that are appropriate for the situation. 
  • Engage in Self Care: In the midst of a crazy schedule and stress, the last thing that seems important is taking time to take care of yourself. Check out this post on self care for ways to take care of yourself!
There are a few easy ways to care for yourself and decrease your stress on a regular basis. Come back tomorrow for a post on not playing the victim role to the stress in our lives! 

Now it's your turn:
What's your favorite way to stand up to stress? Why do we use words that are too big for the subject that we are talking about? How can we feel ok about saying no appropriately! 

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