With a show of hands, who can honestly say they have never experienced stress? I cannot see if you are raising your hands, but chances are no one did. The fact is that, at some point, we experience stress. At times, there is more than one form of stress pulling at us from different points making us feel like the picture above. Stress can come from many areas in our lives...work, family, friends, and certain situations. We all have stress to some degree, and some of it can be positive. Some examples of stress include:
- Public Speaking – They say that for some people, they would rather be stabbed, drowned and bludgeoned before speaking in front of a group of people. When I speak or play in front of people, I do get nervous and feel stress over forgetting something. For me, I turn that feeling into a positive energy.
- Parental illness – As our parents get older, we worry about how to take care of them, make sure they are safe and, at the same time, do not derail our lives. We reach a time where they need us and we need to be there for them.
- Work Delivery Dates – This date can be given (i.e., financial close) or self-imposed through setting expectations to management (i.e., project deliverable dates). I stress over finishing a project on time, because it reflects the commitment that I made to someone, the impact on upcoming commitments and all tasks fully completed.
- Attention of Others (humans or pets) – Time is at a premium and all parts of your life are demanding of your time. I want to spend time with Debbie, see Gab and Bec when they are home, the dogs are around my feet wanting attention, being social, volunteer VP activities, etc., etc. How much of us is there to give?
In a recent video, Darren Hardy talked about one way to address stress is not to focus over things in the future. While we only have the ability to live in the now, the advice given is good when things are yet to happen. What about the stress happening right now, at this very moment?
What are some ways to deal with Stress?
- Drinking – Tossing back a few tasty beverages is good to help forget for the moment and might lessen some of the knots in ones back and shoulders. One should never ever make decisions while drinking and / or directly after drinking. However, when the cloud of alcohol lifts, nothing has changed and there is a chance that you might have a hangover, i.e. more stress.
- Taking a nap – A chance to shut down for a short time, if you are able to, and have an opportunity to re-energize, to face what is ahead of you with a more relaxed mind. While, like the example above, the situation still exists, but it is sometimes easier to address with a clear head. Rumor had it that Thomas Edison would nap in his lab when he faced an issue and had the solution when he woke up.
- Taking a walk – I know some people that opt for this option. By stepping out of the stressful situation and getting a change of scenery, gives you a chance to think / reassess the situation. Upon returning, you have had the chance to prioritize and plan what you need to do…
I cannot tell you how to best deal with stress, as each solution is beneficial to different people. I have tried all of the above at some point in my life. Unfortunately, the things that cause stress in our lives cannot disappear with a wave of a magic wand. That leaves us with facing, addressing and dealing with the cause or running away, hiding our head in the sand or ignoring the cause. In the latter case, if we choose to desensitize ourselves to the problems, someone else will have to deal with it. Unfortunately, this option can become a constant solution and we are forever running from something. I personally prefer taking a deep breath, thinking about / meditating on the situation, and then address it. Relieving the cause (at work, at home, at play, etc.) means that I can continue with what I set out to do without fear (or stress) of the cause repeating itself.
How do you deal with stress?