Managing Stress: Everyone has a different method!

It is a problem that everyone in every walk of life goes through to differing degrees from time to time: stress. The management of stress is a topic that takes up multiple tomes in libraries and multiple gigabytes on the internet and yet no one has the perfect answer or strategy to how to deal with it.

The fact is that everyone reacts differently to stress and everyone finds a different way to deal with said stress: it is only the effectiveness of the stress management strategies used that changes.

There are obviously some stress management strategies that are more destructive than useful. I know that I used to abuse alcohol as a method to seek to manage my stress. That approach was obviously self destructive and unhelpful. I also used to be a wanton spender when I was under times of significant stress: I own more blue business shirts than any man should ever reasonably need in one lifetime as a result.

The obvious corollary that comes from these destructive forms of stress management is that often they provide a very short term release of stress whilst leading to deeper long term problems. I know they certainly did for me.

I mentioned in my blog of last week when I wrote about the things that I wished I had known as an eighteen year old (https://shumpty77.com/2013/11/29/things-that-i-know-now-that-i-wish-i-knew-when-i-was-eighteen/ ) that one of the things that I wish I had known earlier was that there is no shame in asking for help. Asking for help, metaphorically “sticking up ones hand” is a principal means by which I now seek to reduce my stress. The reason is simple: I find talking about a problem relaxing even if talking about the problem does not solve it.

The other principal methodology that I use for dealing with stress now is one that my psychologist taught me. It is a pretty simple visualisation technique that involves working through a series of questions about whatever is causing me stress. Simply I ask myself what it is that is stressing me and answer the question honestly. Then I ask myself whether there is something immediate that I can do about the “problem”. If there is then I have to stop whatever it is that I am doing and take that step. If there is something that I can do about it but I can not do it immediately then I have to do that think whenever I am able to do say. Here is the most important part: if there is nothing I can do about the thing that is stressing me then I have to “let the stressful thing go”.

The last, and most important part, of this method of relieving stress is the act of allowing yourself to give up that which is stressing yourself. Being able to do that is sometimes the most difficult thing one can do.

As I said in the title to this post: everyone has a different method of dealing with stress. I hope your particular method, whatever it is, is as successful as you need it to be.

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