But if the intensity of stress continues to rise, we reach a point where our coping mechanisms are exhausted. That point varies for different people, but everyone has a stress point at which his ability to cope is overwhelmed. Ideally, we do not push ourselves that far. But occasionally that happens. One of the first symptoms of stress becoming unmanageable is fatigue. Once we reach that point, we suddenly feel tired even doing our usual tasks. Taking a break and resting can reverse the toxic effect of stress at this point, and can help us regroup and return to our normal level of functioning.
Better Than Cured: 10 Stages To Stress Management:
(awakening to the problem at hand)
Identify and balance the stress with the rewards for each difficult situation you find yourself in.
Thinking of the possible stressors and rewards you will likely encounter today, how does your balance look?
Thinking of long term stressors and rewards, is the balance between them steady? If not, can you add more to the rewards side or decrease the stress? Would that create an acceptable situation for you?
Feel free to try it!
STAGE 2: BASIC SELF-HELP:
Examples of immediate actions to ease stress.
TURN OFF THE NOISE!
We all do innumerable things that add to the constant “chatter" in our heads or in our lives. Turning the volume down by eliminating some of the redundant or obsessive dialogues we carry on with ourselves will have a relaxing effect. Try it!
DETACH AND OBSERVE
(gain a bird’s eye view)
Rise above a stressful situation. Imagine you are above it looking down. What do you see? Do you see different patterns of interaction between participants? Can you distinguish details that escaped your attention when you were deeply entrenched in it?
CREATE A SPECIAL,
IN YOUR MIND
You can create in your mind a peaceful, private space where you can relax. It may be a real place or an imaginary one. Whenever you are tired, frustrated or overwhelmed by the realities around you, you can find refuge, even if it is only for a few minutes, in this virtual quiet, peaceful place. When you return to face the same realities, you will feel much more rested and refreshed and better able to deal with the situation.
One of my coaching clients pictured a Japanese tea house because he was in love with Japanese art and culture. Another imagined a meadow she stumbled upon while walking with her mother in the woods as a child. The choices are virtually limitless.
Go ahead and try to create your own place of mental refuge. What does it look like?
SHAKE OFF HELPLESSNESS!
TAKE ACTION AND A LEAP OF FAITH!
Sometimes the only acceptable way to manage a stressful situation is to have the courage to escape it. Often when under intense stress, it is easy to believe that we will never be able to escape it. Feeling hopelessness is a common problem when overwhelmed by stress. But it is a death sentence to allow yourself to listen to that urge. Make a leap of faith and take action!
Like Ulysses who, had he succumbed to the song of the sirens, would have never found the strength to find his way home, so you may get lost in being sad and sorry for yourself and forget to fight your way out of a bad situation. Taking action will save you. Sometimes you need to be brave and take a real leap of faith. It can be scary and risky. But it will jolt you out of the inertia, you will set in motion different factors, and with a little bit of luck you will overcome the stressful situation that seemed, at first, so unmanageable.
I would love to have your feed-back. The journey continues in the next post.